Are you an unpaid city employee? Are you doing city work without pay or benefits?
Before you say “no” answer a few questions? Who shovels the city’s sidewalks in front of your place? Who mows the city’s terrace in front of your house? Both the sidewalk and the terrace are city property, but you are required to maintain them for the city. Shoveling the city’s sidewalk and mowing the city’s terrace is an unfunded mandate, meaning you are required to do something (maintain city property), but you do not get paid, receive benefits or get reimbursed for doing it. You use, and maintain, your own equipment to do the job, and get no thank you from the city for doing it.
However, should you fail to do it you may be fined. But don’t dare touch the trees, if there are any there, not even if its’ branches are hanging over the side walk and interfering with pedestrians, because only those authorized by the city may trim trees and residents are not authorized to do so. The only activity residents are permitted to do with trees, and they are required to do that, is to pick up tree leaves when they fall. Is there any way out of this responsibility? No, but instead of mowing the terrace and getting no personal benefit from it, there is another option, as Mr. Hartz has done in front of the Simple Restaurant.
He has planted a garden on the city’s terrace in front of the Simple Restaurant’s outdoor dining. If you do decide that you would like to plant a flower or vegetable garden on the terrace you can be like Mr. Hartz. However, first you have to get the city’s authorization to do so, as Mr. Hartz did. Although it is possible for you to get the city’s permission, it can be quite expensive. If you try to get permission to plant a garden on the city’s terrace, then you will most probably give up before you get the required plan commission and city council approvals. But in the process you will learn the true meaning of “bureaucracy,” city of Lake Geneva style. The only other option, which would likely be equally futile, would be to try to get the city council to pass an ordinance that would allow citizens to plant gardens on the city terraces in front of their residences. Maybe only Tom Hartz could pull that one off!