At its Tuesday meeting the Franklin Common Council discussed and considered this idea of enacting NO MOW MAY (isn’t that clever?) during the month of May in the city. Mind you that when this item came up the month was already half over with.
For some background here’s a Channel 4 report from late April.
Pollinator Protection Committee?
Franklin resident Debbie Davis brought a petition to the council this week asking that the city participate and also refrain from issuing citations to anyone that chooses not to do their lawns. In her letter of petition to the council Davis said she surveyed 25 Franklin citizens and nobody disagreed with the idea.
Alderwoman Shari Hanneman didn’t flat out reject the concept but was concerned because she has constituents that don’t control their weeds and worries that NO MOW MAY would simply offer an excuse for violators to keep violating.
Mayor Steve Olson remarked that the program would create more work time for city staff, time the staff doesn’t have. Olson also said bees have no trouble pollinating in semi-rural Franklin.
At the risk of sounding less than analytical I just think the idea is just plain goofy.
Near the end of May in 2020 when Appleton’s NO MOW MAY was about to conclude lawns at some residences had grown to 18 inches or higher. Weeds were even taller
“How some people are going to cut this, I don’t really understand myself,” Public Works Director Paula Vandehey said. “There’s no way a lawnmower is going to do it.”
And as the month progressed and the grass got higher at homes the complaints grew as well.
“We’re starting to get a lot of calls and emails,” Vandehey said. “We’re not really documenting how many we’re getting because we’re telling people we can’t take any complaints yet. We can’t take them until June 1.”
“Well, right now I wish we didn’t have it,” Alderman Bill Siebers said. “Their yards look awful. The grass is very, very tall.”
One unidentified woman complained to the local paper about her neighbors’ unattended lawn saying it aggravated her breathing problems. She described NO MOW MAY as ridiculous and moronic.
An Appleton alderman offered little consolation on cutting 18-inch grass: Just raise the mower deck to its highest height for the first cut and then come back back for a second cut at the preferred height.
Last month Appleton voted to make NO MOW MAY…permanent.
So what did the Franklin Common Council do this week? What it does a lot and quite well. Punt. Essentially nothing.
The matter has been referred to Franklin’s Environmental Commission that is now entrusted with developing recommendations for May 2023.