2016 council budget hearing: Money for the Tree Board to cut trees, or plant them?


Back in May I attended a Tree Board meeting in search of information about its meetings, which I requested from the board’s staff person, Krisjans Streips. This particular ray of sunshine has yet to break through Team Gahan’s patented Transparency Prevention Modulator, but I digress.

The following brief exchange from the budget hearings on August 31 aptly illustrates the disconnect. The Tree Board has no budget and no plan — at leastmore recent than the 1990s or early 2000s.

Dr. Knable identifies this, and CM Blair corroborates. All CM Barksdale can offer is the view that a budget would enable the Tree Board to cut trees when the Street Department is otherwise occupied.

Not plant trees.

Cut them.

How is this not a major problem?

This year alone, the city has felled probably 200 trees. The city’s former adversary, now blessed co-developer at Summit Springs, cleared a few hundred more. The Tree Board assures me that it plants far more trees on a yearly basis.

With what, and where? All the board need do is produce the statistics, and until it does, perhaps a mission statement for its “best case” activities would be a fine prelude to funding.