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Maxwell mocks goats, but what has he done for environment?

It was awful to see the name calling in Commissioner Eric Maxwell’s letter. He referred to Steve Brown and Harold Bost as “despised and disgraced” but he failed to discuss any of the relevant issues most of us are concerned about. Unfortunately, Commissioner Maxwell is degrading the level of decorum in this election with name-calling and innuendo.

Like Mr. Brown, I do not want kudzu in our beautiful city. Kudzu is an invasive weed that came from Japan and our warm climate causes the vine to wipe out our trees and natural vegetation. Commissioner Maxwell’s demeaning comments toward Mr. Brown’s efforts to get rid of kudzu in our community were uncalled for and did little to address the issue.

Does Commissioner Maxwell have a plan to get rid of the kudzu destroying our public land, tree save buffers and native vegetation? I seriously doubt it.

Had Commissioner Maxwell performed a little research prior to launching his tirade in the newspaper, he would have found that many cities and counties across the nation are using goats to eliminate kudzu.

Chattanooga’s Public Works Department has a very successful program using goats to clear kudzu. A June 5, 2007 New York Times article said, “Despite the humorous overtones to the city’s methods, the program represents an environmentally friendly effort to grapple with a real problem in Chattanooga and the South.”

Mr. Brown recognized that spraying toxic herbicides near creeks, lakes and recreation areas was a danger to us all. In many cases, the vines come back and have to be sprayed with the chemicals over and over again.

An Oct. 21, 2003 article on efforts using goats in Raleigh, N.C., said, “Employing goats to clear woodlands is not the newest trick in the book. But thanks to emerging research on their browsing habits — as well as vastly improved portable fences to hold them in — goats are slowly gaining acceptance as environmentally friendly ‘bio-agents’ that fight noxious vines at their root.”

I’m not sure Commissioner Maxwell cares about protecting our beautiful green spaces. For the four years he has been in office, I can’t recall him ever mentioning an interest in protecting the natural areas that set us apart from the rest of the Atlanta area.

I want to keep a green Fayette County and Steve Brown has my support.

Marta McGlade

Peachtree City, Ga.

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