Just the facts: Proposal to fund alternative weed control methods fits within budget

Anne Crossland

Anne Crossland

The August edition of The Villager contained an article by Tom Graham, president of the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council that prodded the public to monitor the manner in which special taxing districts spend their constituents’ money. The Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District was included in his article but corrections are necessary due to inaccurate information presented.

The RRREMD board toiled for several months to arrive at common ground regarding a proposal for alternative weed control. It was disappointing to hear Mr. Graham use stale, divisive campaign talking points to inaccurately describe elements of the current RRREMD effort. The obvious “minority” directors to whom Graham refers are Paul Gazda and myself.

Gazda’s proposal to fund alternative weed control methods fits within the current budget. He did not ask for a tax increase, nor did I. I explicitly stated I did not want to increase taxes and believed we could accomplish this change within the approved budget. Readers can verify the budget discussions by checking the meeting minutes and audio recordings on the RRREMD website (www.improvementdistrictservices.com/redrockroademd/rrremdmeetingminutes.html).

The proposed weed control methods and minimum risk herbicides are not experimental and have been used by many municipalities across the country. They are approved by the EPA and even promoted by the agency as a more effective, environmentally sensitive approach to weed control. The EPA does not approve of the word “safe” on pesticide/herbicide products, such as voiced by a former board member when describing Roundup as safe. These EPA management principles can be verified on their website (www.epa.gov:safepestcontrol:integrated-pest-management-ipm-principles).

The BPRCC, Yavapai County Board of Supervisors and the AZ Department of Transportation have not been consulted about the District’s weed control methods in over 6 years. The RRREMD, previously directed by the Board of Supervisors, was converted to an independently governed district in 2013 with appointed directors. As of 2017, the RRREMD board is completely composed of directors who have been elected by the local citizenry. A board majority (4-1) voted to try less toxic methods in the District.

Director Gazda and I do not use “scare tactics,” but, rather, present scientific studies and judicial rulings regarding any herbicide under legal scrutiny. We are continually researching practices and products that pose the least health risk to our constituents and our environment.

The above information is the opinion of RRREMD Board Director Ann Crossland, and not intended to represent the opinion of the entire RRREMD Board. Submitted by RRREMD Board Director Ann Crossland ac.rrremd@gmail.com.

Editor's Note: In the interest of fairness, The Villager presents opposing opinions on any given issue, when possible, side by side in the same issue. Every personal opinion expressed -- be it solicited by The Villager or submitted by a regular columnist -- must be balanced with an opposing view, with both sides given the same publishing parameters.

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