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[whitespace] Weeds get whacked in council chambers

San Jose--A weed by any other name is unlikely to sprout up on the City Council's consent calendar anytime soon. Mayor Ron Gonzales stealthily exterminated that unpleasant possibility at the Nov. 2 council meeting, ruling that overly PC lingo will no longer creep into the council agenda.

At the meeting, the council unanimously voted to accept the Hazardous Vegetation Commencement Report for the year 2000. If not for their fearless leader, however, the 11 council members may not have known the gravity of the resolution that they were accepting.

Before voting on the resolution, Gonzales asked for a show of lights.

"Who knows what 'hazardous vegetation' is?" he asked.

A timid silence crept over the council chambers.

Vice Mayor Frank Fiscalini said he knew hazardous vegetation when he saw it. But that was only because he had heard Gonzales' diatribe earlier in the day.

"I have notified the city manager's office, and I hope in the future we can call it what it is," Gonzales said. "It's weeds."

District 9 Councilman John Diquisto piped up: "Actually, hazardous vegetation is a fancy word for weed abatement."

A spokesperson from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection agreed that, indeed, weeds can be hazardous since they supply tinder-dry fuel for fires.

The commencement report was compiled by the the Santa Clara County Fire Marshal's office, after all.

Gonzales rewarded Diquisto for his vast botanical knowledge: "Congratulations, you win an all-expense paid trip to the top of the building, to pull some weeds," Gonzales said.

"My garden has no weeds," Diquisto countered. Diquisto, an inveterate gardener, tends a rooftop garden at City Hall.

District 4 Councilwoman Margie Matthews put the plants into perspective. "A weed is nothing but a flower out of place," the enlightened official pointed out.
Jessica Lyons

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Web extra to the November 11-17, 1999 issue of Metro.

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