A green thumb is usually a good thing. But when it comes to the Crawfordsville Redevelopment Commission it seems the color might have as much to do with spending green stuff as it does growing it.

Earlier this week the commission voted 5-0 to spend nearly $6,000 on pulling shrubs from the islands at the almost vacant Commerce Park.

The issue, it seems, is that growth of shrubs and greenery in the islands have gotten so big that there's a safety issue. Apparently, traffic can't see what's coming and going very well.

Fair enough.

What happened to trimming?

For that matter, these things didn't grow exponentially overnight. Why were they ever allowed to get big enough to be a problem? And if there's no clear answer to that question, what's going to prevent this from all happening again?

Very few elected (or appointed) individuals would likely spend $6,000 of their own money on tearing out shrubs and re-planting. Very few of them would have allowed this to happen in the first place. Yet time and again taxpayers sit back and watch government officials spend more money and handle things differently . . . because it's not their personal money they're dealing with.

Would it not be better for the city to send the street department out to cut or severely trim the overgrown greenery? If some of the plants don't survive, so what? They were going to tear them out anyway. And if they're not willing or able to trim, cut, weed-eat or whatever is required at this time, why will it be different in the future?

In the grand scheme of things, $5,866 is not a huge amount of money in the city's budget. But that's the point, isn't it? If this were personal money it would be looked at in a whole different light.

Ultimately, wouldn't it be better if someone in government kept their thumb - whatever color it is - a little tighter on the checkbook?