Mission Viejo

                                                                     Letter to the Editor
            Don't Punish the Residents
On April 25, Mission Viejo's city hall celebrated Earth Day / Arbor Day by hosting tree-planting activities. How does this fit in with city hall's announcements about conserving water and fining residents for noncompliance?

I believe most of our residents are already conserving, and city hall needs to conserve. A city administrator wants to turn off public drinking fountains, and the city's sprinklers are watering the pavement.

For 14 years, city hall has touted Mission Viejo as a Tree City USA. The website, https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/, indicates such a designation is an expensive commitment of maintaining an urban forest. Is this the best use of funds and water in a drought-prone area?

Of course, trees are pretty -- except when they are dying. Several years ago, the city planted sycamore (water absorbing) trees along the thoroughfares. They died. Last year, the city replaced the sycamores with more thirsty sycamores. Now, the city staff wants to tear out the grass in city parks to save water -- really! And they plan to reinstall it when the drought subsides.
The city staff's practices include planting, replanting and tearing out vegetation, with perpetual tearing out of the medians. 

Can the council hold public hearings on the water shortage? I believe our residents would come up with better ideas than shutting off drinking fountains and removing grass from city parks. If hearings were held, perhaps the city staffers who are planting trees would be in the same room with the city staffers who want to turn off drinking fountains and tear out the turf.

 One thing everyone could agree on is to stop the obvious waste.

Donna Snow
Mission Viejo

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