In response to the article "Council ducks drought emergency extension," speaking for myself on behalf of the Arizona Partnership for Forest Health, I do not believe there is a "fight." That brings to mind a notion of combatants slugging it out. That simply is not happening.
I don't have any issue with the council addressing the Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP) first. That is the responsible thing to do as it begins to set the framework for preparing the next budget. I am told the notion of defensive space is now part of the CSP. It should be.
Based on meeting with the town manager, the draft resolution has been clarified so as not to direct a budget impact, but rather to identify some key objectives and goals. Budget data can be collected to meet those goals. The budget process may result in adjusting some near term goals that reduce the risk.
I am told the revised draft resolution has been sent to the town's legal department for their review.
Addressing the essential problem includes many players. The town council can only address that part of the problem under their jurisdiction. Other contributors to the solution must include property owners whose property may indeed constitute a hazard to our public safety. Related contributors to the solution also include insurance companies whose current rate structure does not recognize the less risk they might assume when a property owner's defensive space is in place and effective.
There are many factors. The causes of the problem are many. Finger pointing doesn't get us to solutions. Cooperation and acceptance of the need for us all to work together toward the end goal will.
I appreciate the Roundup's recognition that this issue is not a one-time, silver bullet thing. I hope there continues to be balanced and responsible reporting of us all working together more effectively. Valid public information itself is a major contributor to the process.
Lew Levenson, Executive Director, Arizona Partnership for Forest Health