Kevin Panik stated he has 300 seconds to change the way the County is headed. He stated this is America, and if people think they are not getting there, they are; the citizens who were here for the Lagoon Item were eloquent; and he expressed his appreciation to the Board for the wonderful civic thing he saw here today. He stated he is hopefully here to serve all generations for all times; he is dressed like this because he decided he wanted to go pick-up trash; he wanted to learn about trash; and as an engineer, he figured the best way to learn about doing it is to do it. He noted since April of this year, every weekend he has gone out and picked up trash near the roadside and in communities. He brought his visual aid to show the Board that through his experience and research, in 2016 the state of the art for roadside liter removal is a man with grabber handles. He stated when he was a child his family went on trips up the I-95 corridor all of the time; the reason he knew the grass was mowed is for miles he could see the freshly cut liter which was scattered for miles; if a person travels I-95 now, he or she will not see that; and if a person drives I-95 early enough, he or she may see the people picking up trash with grabbers and riding all-terrain vehicles. He is asking the Board to enact this for the County; any areas mowed by Brevard County mowers, to not cut over the liter. He stated his call to action is for the Commissioners to say within two years to not mow over trash. He advised the Board he has submitted charts for it to consider. He stated if the Board approves his request, he can go to the cities and ask them not to mow over liter, and the County does not do it.
Commissioner Smith inquired who is going to pick up the trash.
Commissioner Anderson stated when he was on the City of Palm Bay City Council, back in the days when government had money, they had a beautician enhancement strike team; there were four guys on two gators; and they would pick up the trash before the mowers mowed. He stated maybe it is something staff could talk to the Sheriff about, and maybe trustees can do it.
John Denninghoff, Public Works Director, stated the trustees are pretty busy doing other things. He went on to add staff has looked at what a number of other counties are doing, and it ranges from they do not do it too they have a dedicated workforce that goes out and provides the service; and sometimes they have the mowing crews doing it. He stated the bottom line is resources would either have to be increased in order to cover that additional expense, or the mowing cycles would have to be reduced. He noted in the neighborhoods where the sidewalks and roadways are the County's, most of the residents do the mowing on their own and pick-up the liter; and Mr. Panik is correct, it can be an unsightly issue.
Chairman Barfield inquired if there are high-target areas that can be concentrated on if inmates could be used.
Mr. Denninghoff replied he is sure there are some roads worse than others; the more traffic, the more liters there is; and for those areas where garbage trucks run, they do a pretty good job of keeping things contained, but sometimes they have incidents. He stated staff could probably look at that, but staff would have to figure out where the worst places are.
Chairman Barfield stated if the County can identify some target areas, maybe Keep Brevard Beautiful (KBB) could get people out there or maybe people with Bright Future Scholarships.
Commissioner Fisher inquired if Public Works could start an educational process regarding this.
Mr. Denninghoff responded he thinks that would be a good idea.
Commissioner Smith stated walks his dog in the mornings, and he is already onboard, because he does a two-mile stretch from his house to the Pineda Causeway; and he picks up trash and throws them in his trash or recycles.
The Board acknowledged Citizen Request by Kevin Panik to stop County mowing of roadside trash by all districts of Road and Ground Maintenance, but took no formal action.