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City sailing into unchartered waters

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POSTED June 21, 2009 2:02 a.m.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The following is a copy of a letter sent to our city manager in response to his comments on the city workers maintaining the LMDs. There is no further comment needed.

Mr. Pinkerton.

This letter is in response to your information letter to the public in Friday’s Manteca Bulletin editorial regarding the city taking over the Landscape Maintenance Districts (LMDs,)

I am currently one of those private contractors. We have been maintaining Bianchi Ranch 1, 2, and 3, and Paseo 1 and 2. That entails close to 2 miles of sound wall and lawns. We have been serving in this capacity for about 3 years on Bianchi Ranch and 1 1/2 years on Paseo.

I have been a Manteca resident for 51 years.

You mentioned in your letter that the contractors visit each site assigned to them one day a week. That is far from the truth. My crew and I spend an average of 3 days a week, 6 to 7 hours a day on our sites. This is required, especially in the growing season, which runs from about April to November here in the valley.

Maintaining LMDs is more than breezing through and mowing lawns, which by the way, is the easiest part, and pulling a few weeds, and presto! It all looks dandy. Two days require spraying and or pulling weeds, which is very time consuming, shrub and groundcover trimming, and irrigation maintenance. One day is committed to lawn maintenance. I had to chuckle months ago when the Bulletin quoted a staff member, who came here from another city that, “It is only shrubs and that is easy enough.”
I understand why the city has made the decision. They need the money. They have my blessing. I know, as we have taken pride in our work, the city parks staff and workers will put out their best efforts to meet the huge challenge set before them. They are sailing into uncharted waters. This will not be a cakewalk. Adding the pressure will be the public eye will be watching.

Human nature dictates we justify our actions/decisions. Let’s call an ace an ace. The city needs the money. They are looking out to save jobs, namely 4 parks and recreation workers. The justification to this decision should be that and only that. Do not put the private contractor’s level of service in second place. Let’s give it about a year before we draw that conclusion.
Jesse Deen
Sunscape Landscape
Manteca
June 19, 2009

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