The following letter by Steve Schmidt was published in the Almanac's April 11 print edition.
Editor: In 1998 City Manager Jan Dolan agreed to phase out the use of herbicides on city of Menlo Park property within a year. It didn't happen.
At the time, I joked that the city had been trying to use up all the Round-Up that she purchased in the 1990s at bargain prices. Nobody laughed.
Although we have had a very dry season this year, the annual grasses and forbs have done their best to be green. Until last week, that is. After 95 percent of the growth had occurred and after most of the seeds had been produced, the city has done it again, spraying the roadsides and the center medians with herbicides, which has effectively shortened the all too brief weeks of this delightful seasonal cycle called springtime.
Even worse, the annual growth at the little park at Woodland and Pope next to San Francisquito Creek has been completely wiped out by an application of herbicide, wildflowers and all. There's a catch basin that flows directly into the creek in the midst of the target area.
How green is this? In light of the current enthusiasm shown by Mayor Kelly Fergusson to put Menlo Park residents through a tutorial on green practices, I would hope that, at the very least, the city could quickly address some of the fundamentals of integrated pest management practices.
This is an easy one. No task force, paid facilitators or butcher block paper on easels are needed. The list of obvious environmental issues that the city could immediately address needs definitive action, not more studies.
Steve Schmidt, former mayor
Central Avenue, Menlo Park