VA BEACH - The grass is getting long on NAS Oceana.
Commanding Officer Capt. Bob Geis posted a statement saying money for facilities maintenance has been cut, to include ground maintenance, in response to a reduced budget.
He stressed the Navy is focused on keeping forward deployed forces funded at the highest possible level, so cuts were made elsewhere.
'Trust me, no one takes more pride in the appearance of the installations than I do; I hate seeing the grass so long. However, the contract awarded to our grounds keepers only allows cutting grass when it reaches 12 inches in most areas around Oceana and 6 inches on Dam Neck Annex before it gets cut,' he wrote.
As for suggestions that Sailors and Marines cut the grass, he stated, 'Our Sailors and Marines already have a job to do, and that is the business of our Nation. I will not add 'mowing the grass' to their job description.If we allowed our Sailors and Marines to cut the grass, this base would look better without a doubt. But all it would do is mask the reduced funding our grounds keepers are getting to do the job. In the long run, we must show what the impact is of the funding we receive. Anything else is disingenuous and won't portray the true impact of the funding level, and we do that on the backs of our Sailors and Marines.'
The news had lots of people on the WVEC-TV 13 Facebook page talking and making suggestions.
Erin Snyder wrote, 'In all honesty how much money are they going to save by not cutting the grass?! The need to budget cut the people in Washington! Why cut the military when they fight for our right for budgets to be made!'
Margaret Kipp Fleet suggested, 'Each command should take care of their area and the rest should be done by First LT depart or the sailors and marines who are on restriction or in correctional custody.'
Jennifer Jones agreed with Commander Geis that personnel shouldn't have to pick up the slack. 'With all the manning cutbacks, there aren't enough people to do most of the jobs...so the guys are already working 12 plus hours everyday. I don't think they should have to cut the damn grass too.'