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JULY 14 - JULY 22, 2015

Mott’s the problem with Jayne Park grass maintenance
Mott is going on with Jayne Park grass maintenance?
Mott’s wrong with Jayne Park maintenance?
Mott’s it all about Mayor Dyster?

By Gus the Goose

JULY 14, 2015

Gus the Goose
Before: High weeds at Jayne Park over a foot high.
After: cut so close with the wrong equipment it looks like scorched earth.
A generous dog left a guide marker on the Jayne Park asphalt trail.
Tracks of vehicles mar the park grass.
Notice the new sign. I said the asphalt was going to attract people with motorcycles, minibikes or even small cars.

I’m a goose with a bird’s brain but it doesn’t mean I’m a birdbrain. And, I may have been hatched at night but I wasn’t hatched last night.

So when I did a recent flyover of Jayne Park I was appalled at the park’s condition. It seems that my Reporter article of two weeks ago (detailing how the condition of the park had deteriorated with the height of the grass reaching well over 15 inches) agitated Mayor Dyster so badly that he sent workers to the park to cut the grass that same day.

Well, “cut” isn’t the best word to describe what happened. Rip or tear or shred would be better adjectives to label what the mayor did to the long grass from one end of the park to the other. Think of how your lawn looks after you cut it: shorter, neater, and a genuine source of pride in ownership. Then think the complete opposite…that’s how the park looked.

I’ve never been anything if not a curious goose and so when I saw the grassy disaster in Jayne Park I made a few calls and stuck my bill (danger be damned, I am after all a goose on the mayor’s hit list) where it’s not welcomed but where it does the most good. I contacted people connected to the Dyster administration who were willing to give this feathered creature the lowdown on the grass massacre (“grassacre”).

What’s the problem with the grass? “Mott” is the problem with the grass. I’ve been told there’s such a thing as a “Mott mower” and that’s the piece of mowing equipment being used on Jayne Park. The Mott mower is also called the “hammer knife or flail knife mower,” and is used “to deal with heavier grass or scrub that a normal mower can’t cope with.” The Mott mower is usually employed in areas where a precise, lawn-type cut isn’t needed, such as along a highway or brush adjacent to a farmer’s field.

We now know why Jayne Park has that torn, ripped and shredded appearance…the grass has been literally ripped by a Mott mower rather than clipped with a “reel mower.” The reel mower spins around and catches the grass at the bottom stationary blade that’s called the “knife.” By adjusting the distance of the reel in relation to the knife edge the length of the grass can be regulated to a fine degree producing the beautiful appearance you see on a golf course fairway or in a well-maintained park.

Golf course fairway you say?  Don’t we have golf course fairways in the city? Yes, we do but the grass cutting equipment for the golf course isn’t used in Jayne Park, although that equipment is used in some city parks and in Hyde Park. This raises a question: Why did Mayor Dyster implement a costly Jayne Park restoration plan when he never intended to use the correct, the most basic, grass cutting equipment to properly maintain the park?

The facts are that without the correct lawn maintenance equipment and without a commitment to cutting the park at least every ten days what you see right now in Jayne Park is what you’re going to see all through the spring, summer and fall: high grass that’s shredded every three weeks. It results in an odorous mess of chopped gone-to-seed grass that makes for a sloppy park visitation experience and an even sloppier appearance to what was once the lovely, quaint, verdant Jayne Park.

I’ve been called a silly goose any number of times. But that’s an occupational hazard for a goose, so it rolls off my back like water off a duck. At the end of the day I’d rather be a silly goose than a big-spending city hall dumb ass that spent a taxpayer fortune to ruin a perfectly good park.





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