The Green Patrol

The Green PatrolI’m happy the special election for City Council is over and I wish the best for both the winner and looser in the race.  I’m sure Bill Schickel will be busy bringing himself up to speed with all the projects underway in the City and I’m confident he’ll do a good job for his constituency.  Mason City is fortunate in that we have a City Council that for the most part work together for the common good, unlike many others where there are special interests and deep personality issues.  I grow quickly tired of hearing some in public office using their positions as nothing more than a soundboard for their personal views and dark agendas.  A good politician works for the good of his or her constituency and sets aside any personal bias or axes to grind.   Council members have it much harder than people think where at times they must endure some of the most petty of complaints from the citizenry who’ve created mountains out of their mole hills.  Then of course there are those regular attendees who make a point to give their two cents worth about something that’s happened or hasn’t within the community.  I’m a firm believer that all voices must be heard and all given their opportunity to speak, but when it becomes an every meeting occurrence, I fear most have developed deaf ears.  It’s usually that way with just about anyone in society who can find the smallest of things to chatter about.

I was called several days ago by a neighbor of a property which I manage and am finding myself bristling every time he’s on the phone due to the most petty things he has to question or complain about.  I’m glad the tenant doesn’t know the extent of the calls or she would likely consider herself under non-stop surveillance.  Yes, there are those who do like to hear themselves talk yet they seem unable to recognize and understand when it’s time to stop for good while.  When visiting with someone today about the home they moved into, in the course of the conversation he said he’d forgotten what it was like to have close neighbors and the good day/bad day situations their neighbors seem to have.  I suggested planting a green barrier and he replied, “There’ll be a privacy fence installed more sooner than later because I can’t wait for a green barrier to grow tall enough.”  It’s no wonder why the acreage sales are still strong.  I did mention to him that establishing boundaries with neighbors first off usually helps with creating an understanding of space and privacy.  A number of years ago someone set off an “f” bomb with me and immediately afterwards my boundaries were established and that was that.

I was driving down an alley today and happened to notice all the volunteer trees growing around many homes and garages.  I can’t believe the owners allow them to get so big.  Surely they must understand that they’re not only unsightly, but also wreck havoc with roofs, walls, and foundations.  When the winds blow, tree branches scratch. Homes as well as pets absolutely cannot take care of themselves.  There must active measures during the growing season to keep the unwanted growth under control.  It goes right back to the idea of first impressions.  I would hate for a visitor of our city to see some of the unsightliness I find when out and about.  Some of those homes are owned by fearful elderly, but could we possibly get caring groups in neighborhoods to offer some free assistance?  Perhaps we’ll name our new groups The Green Patrol.  What do you think?

Joe Chodur

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