I thought I would start a special series featuring email that I receive at City Council that reflects on important issues. This article concerns leaf pickup and equity. This email exchange illustrates that even leaf pickup can lead to inequity within the city. I applaud the City staff for setting a schedule and not playing favorites.
Below you will find an email that was sent to all of council from a resident of Oakwood concerned about leaf pickup in time for the annual Oakwood candlelight ceremony. You will also find my response. First, my response:
Thank you for noting that Oakwood has received this consideration (i.e. special leaf pickup) in the past. Unfortunately, we have an equity situation.
Last year the Brentwood neighborhood had to cancel their 50+ year celebration with luminaries because they were not able to get the leaves picked up. Last year residents also inquired about getting a pass through the neighborhood in time for their celebration but no special consideration was received. This year the Brentwood neighborhood is again waiting patiently as it did last year for the trucks to come through per established schedule.
It is frustrating to the neighborhoods but the established schedules for leaf pickup depend greatly on many factors including weather. I will explore with the rest of Council and staff what we can do differently in the future to better meet the needs of our various neighborhoods regarding leaf pickup to ensure that they are collected in a timely and equitable manner.
Raleigh City Council, District B
The following is the email that was received this morning…
Subject: Leaf collection in Oakwood
I am writing this in frustration. I also am trying to understand the reasoning for not making a pickup before the candlelight tour which has been done in the past.
We get 4k plus visitor to this tour AND the leaves present a danger not to mention an eyesore. This is a struggle for me to understand WHY the city would not want to keep our citizens and visitors safe