A bit of leaf blowing history

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Thanks for all the recent discourse on leaf blowers in Oak Park. This is a subject that I've had a great interest in for quite some time but had basically given up hope of anything ever happening. In case you weren't aware of how long this subject has been a hot topic, here's some background:

As long ago as 2001, I was in contact with then-board member Barbara Ebner. That conversation (along with others, I'm sure) brought about the initial ban of leaf blowers shortly after. Within a year, I was present at a village board meeting where the ban was revised (basically overturned) due to comments from a consortium of citizens, including owners of lawn services, who complained that it was impossible to operate their businesses cost-effectively without the use of leaf blowers.

The compromise was that all leaf blowers used by commercial lawn contractors were to be licensed by the village, which included doing a check of decibel levels. But as you indicated in your Oct. 23 column [Something the village board can agree on, Ken Trainor, Viewpoints], this clearly has not been implemented or enforced.

Although since then I have generally tried to just ignore the problem, I've occasionally felt compelled to act. I sent a Viewpoints piece to you in 2013 (which I believe you published) and in 2015, I wrote, "Part of the problem."

Needless to say, I feel it would be great if this current discussion actually accomplishes something. Thanks for your contribution.

Peter Conover

Oak Park

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