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Published: Friday, 5/22/2009

Mayor, residents to mow in parks

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The grass at North Toledo's Polonia Park on Dexter Street is high enough to conceal a small child and nearby residents have decided to take action.

"We were out there and our son laid down in the grass and we couldn't see him until he popped up," said Linda Canady, who lives across from the park. "That's when we said, 'Oh boy, it's time to cut the grass,' " she said.

Mrs. Canady and her husband George will join forces with some of their neighbors and answer the call for service issued last week by Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.

The Dexter Street group plans to take their mowers across the street and start cutting through the high grass.

Meanwhile, the mayor tomorrow afternoon will for the second consecutive weekend get behind a heavy duty, self-propelled, city-owned mower.

Megan Robson, Mr. Finkbeiner's spokesman, said a dozen people had volunteered to help the mayor and his staff at Jamie Farr Park, 2140 Summit St.

"Tasks have not been given out yet, but when they come out to Jamie Farr Park, they will be given the assignments of grass cutting or planting flowers," Ms. Robson said.

Mr. Finkbeiner enjoyed some national attention for his work last week. He appeared on CNN for cutting grass at Brookford

Park.

A statement from the mayor's office said Mr. Finkbeiner was "buoyed by the very positive reaction to city executive employees and citizens volunteering together to cut grass and clean city parks and boulevards."

It prompted him to continue the effort."We are also interested in receiving commitments from individuals who would like to 'Adopt-A-Park,' " yesterday's statement said.

Councilman George Sarantou didn't dismiss the mayor's idea, but questioned if the city could be liable should a person be injured, or injure someone else, while cutting grass.

"We need an answer on that because what if a homeowner volunteers to cut grass at a park and takes his mower over to a park and something happens?" he said. "We have to make sure we are not creating even more problems of liability. We spend a lot of money on lawsuits and I don't want to have a lot of claims."

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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