Those cursed gumball trees
The Kansas City Star
Glad to see our city leaders at least talking about those awful gumball trees and the havoc they have wreaked in Kansas City neighborhoods. I just wish they could do something more than talk.
My house is one of the few on the block that doesn’t have a gumball tree in front of it, a circumstance for which I give thanks often. My neighbors grimly fill paper lawn bags full of the spiky black balls. Kids on roller blades and bikes fall down because of them. And throughout the neighborhood, sidewalks heave and crack as though an earthquake has occurred. As Lynn Horsley’s story shows, property owners are on the hook to replace the sidewalks when the damage becomes too intense.
Truly, gumball trees are detestable.
Horsley’s story quotes city forester Kevin Lapointe, who says he talked to a retired predecessor, who “admitted sheepishly that he didn’t realize they would produce the spiny balls that are such a bother.”
He didn’t realize? Wasn’t that his job? This, people, is why it is important that the public sector hire people who know what they are doing, even if it means, yes, paying competitive salaries. Because incompetence can cost the public for decades.