In a February 14 story in the Press-Banner "Students call for SV plastic bag ban," (Page 2) Scotts Valley Mayor Jim Reed was quoted as saying that the council was unwilling to risk the costs of being drawn into legal action simply to be at the forefront of an issue.
Scotts Valley is not at the forefront, it’s not at the middle of the front, and it’s not even at the back of the front.
When it comes to protecting the environment from the harm caused by the proliferation of single-use plastic bags, Scotts Valley is the caboose; a freeloader that reaps all the benefit of the regional bring your own bag movement, but is itself unwilling to bear any of the burden.
Every other city in Santa Cruz County and the County itself took that risk for the betterment of the communities they serve and the citizens they represent. They were at the forefront; they took all the risk; they fought the fight in court — all so that Scotts Valley wouldn’t have to.
If Mayor Reed and the SV City Council are philosophically opposed to protecting the environment, then they should be honest enough to say so. The students who spoke from Mount Madonna School deserve that much. It is, after all, their future and if they want to change the world in which they live, we should let them – not patronize them.
Leadership requires vision and sometimes that means raising your head to see the changes in society and the world around you.
The Bring Your Own Bag movement has evolved; it is the new mainstream and can be found on “Main Street” up and down California.
Look around Scotts Valley, look at your neighbors; it’s time to contribute to the community.
Matthew Spiegl, Salinas