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Monday, August 12, 2013

Trees in Wallingford Center

There have been a number of recent stories in the paper regarding the fate of the trees in Wallingford Center.

Tree talk gets testy at times was published on Wednesday July 17, 2013, Group seeks to save trees until Wallingford has plan was published on Wednesday August 7, 2013 and finally Mayor confused by downtown meeting on trees was published the following day on Thursday August 8, 2013.

I was against the prior removal of the trees close to 15 years  ago and in the same manner, we are taking these down in much the way – with just the thought of “we’ll plan to replant these and just cut them down in the next X number of years once again.”

We’ve learned nothing over the last 15 years; we are still not listening to the desires of the people to who this matters – the people who have been outspoken regarding their outright removal and we are doing the same things once again. 30 residents attended a workshop hosted by Wallingford Center Inc. to discuss the short and long-term future for trees in the downtown and they are just understanding now that it is very likely that it was a moot point and that all the trees are likely to come down.

The old saying is that those that do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

The other old saying is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Both are applicable here.

The Tree Warden of Wallingford is Public Works Directory Henry McCully. State statute says town money can only be spent by the tree warden to remove trees when they pose a public safety issue - no public safety issues have been defined. Some businesses want them trimmed or removed for line-of-sight issues, so let’s take care of that as that is easily done in a single day.

The most likely result at this point (POSSIBLY subject to how strong the political winds blow) is that the Mayor will just do what he’s already decided “Eventually, the trees will come down. Ultimately, they are meant to come down, because they are ‘ornamental in nature.’”

Keep your voices heard; call the Mayor’s office if you need to because once the trees are cut down this battle is lost.

The rest of the battle rages on until November 5th – election day.

It’s your town – get informed, get involved and VOTE

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