|Click on Tree for its reaction ;-)|
While council has historically recognized the need to deal with this matter, some monies have been deferred , causing the situation to remain in limbo. As reported by CATCH, "forestry staff were spending most of their time responding to a backlog of 6900 emergency cutting requests. In 2006, council agreed to a ten-year gradual increase in the street tree trimming budget, but hasn't stuck to the schedule".
"Half the budget for year three of the cycle was deferred in 2008, with the other half the only new spending in the 2009 budget. The pattern continued last year with just half the money allocated again, but last week an attempt to add the other half – $350,000 – was defeated in a tie vote.
That came after public works general manager Gerry Davis, under pressure from council for more cuts, offered to entirely remove this year’s tree trimming request. His justification included waiting for the results of a new study on how to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that is expected to kill virtually all the city’s ash trees and force their removal by forestry crews."
Clr. McHattie argued that the city could be exposed to lawsuits if branches and tress began to fall, causing damage or injuries/death. Clr. Ferguson said that he is "“not on for anything that’s going to take the budget north”
Councillors voting for McHattie’s motion were Russ Powers, Brenda Johnson, Jason Farr, Sam Merulla and Pearson. On the other side were Mayor Bratina, Scott Duvall, and Judi Partridge along with Ferguson, Jackson and Whitehead.
The 6-6 tie means the proposal is defeated. The issue could be re-visited on April 27 when council is scheduled to finalize all its budget decisions.
What is your advice to council. How should this be resolved?