Now fellow board member Al Higginbotham is pushing the county to plant flowers.
Who knew the red-meat eating conservatives on the County Commission were such softies?
Higginbotham has won board support to have the county pursue a program of planting native Florida wildflowers along its roadways and in its highway medians, seemingly tapping his inner Lady Bird Johnson.
"Please don't tell anybody," he said, joking.
If it works the way he hopes, the county would partner with private not-for-profits that encourage the planting of native wildflowers, some of which have been all but wiped out by sprawling development. Those groups, some including some that provide grant money, potentially would help train county employees in how and where to plant the flowers and keep them beautiful.
The proposal drew enthusiastic support from other commissioners when Higginbotham introduced it May 15 after a contentious debate about another issue.
"I'm a lover of wildflowers," gushed former Navy man Mark Sharpe. "I think this is kind of a cool item."
Anyone who has traveled the North Carolina mountain highways from, say, Asheville to Smoky Mountains National Park understands the idea. There, thanks to an active program by the state's department of transportation, flowers bloom in a kaleidoscope of colors in highway medians and along the shoulders from spring to fall.
It's one of the things that make driving the state's roads a pleasure, particularly in contrast to Florida's mostly straight, flat and grass- or pine-flanked highways.
Johnson, the former first lady, was famous in part for leading a similar effort on a national scale in the 1960s, promoting the planting of native wildflowers along highways, as well as on Washington, D.C., government grounds and parks.