A now clear Vista (Park) in Janesville
The city of Janesville has made one resident, a neighbor of Vista Park, happy. At least for this year.
As I wrote in my blog Nov. 18, Richard Eldredge sent a letter of complaint to the city. He included a photo showing oaks that still had most of their leaves, just as city crews were about to come that day for the once-around collection.
He has lived there 27 years and wrote that long after the city crews collect leaves in the streets during the two-week pickup cycle, those oaks drop their leaves, “and a huge number of them will migrate on the prevailing winds to the north and present an even larger cleanup for the property owners on that side.”
Eldredge suggested that if it's impossible to change the pickup schedule so older neighborhoods such as his are picked up later in the cycle, the city should make a miniature pickup at the end of the cycle in these areas. The city replied to Eldredge, telling him it intended to return and clean up Vista Park later.
This week, Eldredge copied me on two more letters to the city. The first included a photo that showed many leaves blanketing Vista Park.
“It appears that this may be the last week of relatively mild weather before winter actually sets in, so if the city doesn't do something this week, the leaves will most likely become the major mess that I and my neighbors have had to clean up all too often in the past…,” Eldredge wrote Monday in the first letter. “I am sending this 'reminder' because, quite frankly, I don't think the city really takes the care and upkeep of the parks and the neighborhoods around them as seriously as they should.”
On Tuesday, he wrote: “Vista Park is clear of leaves, and those of us who have dealt with the leaves over the years are both grateful—and expectant—that this is the norm, rather than the exception, from now on.”
Eldredge included a photo that showed the leaf bed erased—though some oaks still have some leaves.
That photo and letter prompted this response from Parks Director Tom Presny: “Thank you for this photo and update. As a staff we have talked and understand the need to follow up with this service annually at Vista Park.”
Perhaps this is the case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Or it's a case dispelling the notion that you can't fight City Hall.
Regardless, I'm glad to know that the city was able to alleviate Mr. Eldredge's annual frustration this fall.