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Your article on the trash bag in Ocean Beach spurred two points for me.

1.) I’m all for volunteering, but at some point we have to figure out where to draw the line. Am I going to be expected to volunteer to put out a fire in my own house? Drive my own ambulance? Fix my own potholes and streetlights (which I already have to report to get the city to do anything about)? Catch my own burglar?

2.) If the city is serious about going to some sort of volunteer system of custodial duties on public land, can they at least get out of the way of the volunteers? The paperwork involved to do a trail cleanup or other volunteer work on public land is overwhelming and a big disincentive to getting volunteers to help in an organized way.

I love San Diego, and I have faith that we will get back on the right track. But I think we have to be realistic about what we can and should expect from our city government, and basic city services like maintaining our public spaces should not fall on the shoulders of good hearted but already overburdened volunteers.

Kathy Keenan is executive director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition

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