Thursday, July 1, 2010

Punitive Government Fees for New Community Gardens

While I am glad that Tampa city officials recognize the importance of the growing phenomenon of community gardens, I am disturbed to read that they are considering requiring lofty fees for "special use permits" approaching $1,500 for said gardens!! If this is the case, this new law amounts to a draconian, punitive suppression of Tampa citizens' rights to feed themselves and their community. It is bad enough that the city distributes reclaimed water toxic to a very broad range of vascular plants and that makes vegetables and herbs grown with it unsafe to eat raw, but to burden a community garden with a massive, unjustified fee before even the first shovelful of soil is turned, or the first seed is planted, is both unconscionable and a slap in the face of the farmers and gardeners, like Thomas Jefferson, whose brave visions of a free society led to America's creation. I fully oppose ANY government fees for new community gardens in Tampa!

John A Starnes Jr.

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