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Why Am I Running?

It's time for all to feel that they have a voice in government.

Over the last 20 years the role of government has increased and has continued to slowly erode personal freedoms. Even within the Town of Cortlandt homeowners have seen this with increased regulations in what they are able to do on their own property. One example of this is as simple as cutting down a tree on your own property. A homeowner is required to get a permit if they want to cut down a tree by filling out and submitting the Town of Cortlandt – Department of Technical Services Form L/R 2‐2‐2018. This is just one example of how the town is overreaching on what homeowners can do.

In other surrounding communities such Scarsdale, Larchmont, Pleasantville, Bedford, and Irvington the use of gas-powered leaf blowers is either restricted or banned all together. This movement is continuing to spread across Westchester and is probably only a matter of time before it comes up within the Town of Cortlandt.

 

This is a bad idea and full of potential problems. Everyone wants a clean environment, but banning gas powered leaf blowers would only be the beginning. How long after a town is able to limit or ban the use of a gas-powered leaf blower will it be before they ban or limit all other landscaping equipment? As more electric equipment is introduced the more problems are slowly being revealed. One issue is the limited battery life. The EGO Power+ Commercial LBPX8004-2 190 mph 800 CFM 56 V Battery Backpack Leaf Blower only has a 30-minute operating time when it’s on high and cost $700. Commercial electric battery-operated lawnmowers cost thousands of dollars more than gas operated ones. Even smaller residential mowers are more expensive.

If a homeowner uses a professional landscaper to mow their lawn and take care of their property it will cost them more in the future. There are no “used” electric battery-operated commercial lawn mowers. Therefore, professional landscapers will have no choice but to raise their rates they charge customers. Some homeowners may choose to buy their own residential electric lawn mower (cost more) and take care of their own property. However, senior citizens may not be able to mow themselves. As a result, they will pay more to take care of their property. Senior citizens are also usually on a fixed income, which means they will have less money in their pocket for other expenses.

One of the main arguments in using electric battery-operated equipment is that it is safer for the environment. This is not necessarily true. In order to create the lithium-ion battery there are some downsides for both people and the planet. Extracting the raw materials, mainly lithium and cobalt, requires large quantities of energy and water. Moreover, the work takes place in mines where workers — including young children often work in unsafe conditions. Lithium batteries also have a limited shelf life. What happens to the batteries when they can no longer be used? These batteries are highly toxic and can easily containment the ground water if they are simply dumped out. They can easily corrode, which is not environmentally friendly. There is also the risk of the batteries catching on fire, which have proven difficult to put out.

The question we have to ask ourselves is which is better for now, gas or battery-operated lawn equipment? Everyone wants a clean environment and what’s best to stop climate change. However, I believe in the rush to go green our country has not seen the potential issues still associated with battery operated equipment. Perhaps in the future lithium batteries may cost less, will be easier and safer to produce, and last longer. Unfortunately, this is not case right now. If a homeowner wants to purchase a battery-operated leaf blower and lawn equipment then they should feel free to go ahead and do so. I do not believe that it is the government’s role to force people to purchase things they don’t want to. A citizen should be allowed to purchase gas powered equipment if they want to.

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