One budget cutting strategy Menlo Park City Council is being asked to approve next week is to save $5000 by reducing the use of goats for vegetation management(see page 34, staff report #11-037).
This is a bad idea. Without the goats, the city will most likely resort to using herbicides to manage the vegetation. Herbicides are toxic chemicals (see Debbie Lehman's March 2, 2011 guest opinion in this paper). The only other alternatives would be not controlling the vegetation (creating fire safety issues) or using people to cut the weeds (sorry I just do not believe we can find anyone who will work for a lower wage than a goat).
The amount of money expected to be saved is small, there are many other ways the city can save $5000. The goats are pleasant to see and friendly. Our kids, I mean children, can go and pet the goats at work. Most importantly, goats control vegetation in a safe and environmentally sound way.
Tell the city to keep the goats fully employed.