It Isn't Easy Being Green | Nose Under the Community Tent | Paul Losch | Palo Alto Online |

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By Paul Losch

It Isn't Easy Being Green

Uploaded: Apr 6, 2010

With apologies to Kermit the Frog from Sesame Street, this Byxbee Park/Composting Facility question is an incredible conundrum.

Well intentioned people/leaders of enhancing our environment come down on opposite sides of the question, which is whether after the dump is shut down, a portion of it should be put aside as a composting facility.

This concept was voted down by myself and others on the Parks and Recreation Commission, but we only advise City Council. They decided Monday night to pursue the matter further, and there will be a study/analysis around one approach for composting on part of what is Byxbee Parkland.

It is easy to jump into the deep end of the pool on this one and get hopelessly struggling to not drown.

My opinion is that this particular matter is moving down the train tracks as the rails are being laid. There clearly are some conflicting objectives, conflicting City policies, and alternative approaches to the notion of composting. To extend the analogy probably further than it deserves to go, our City leadership is getting railroaded by funding a quarter million dollar study on one approach at one site.

I take a great deal of pride in living in a City that has done many innovative things that have been adapted by other communities over the years. I hope we can do that with composting in some form or fashion.

What's missing is a lack of clear objectives, no discussion around policy and master plans, and lack of alternatives to evaluate. Even though I opposed it when it was presented to us on the Parks and Recreation Commission a couple years back, I would be willing to learn why this is the best choice for Palo Altans. And if it is the best alternative, I would be prepared to support it.

That's not how this matter is going down.