November 11, 2008 · Updated 4:02 PM
Dying tree was ready to topple
Unfortunately, all of the details of the two-year permitting process could not fit within the confines of the article (“A long wait for a tree’s downfall”) which appeared in the Nov. 1 edition of the Bainbridge Review.
In reference to Kathy Krokower’s letter (“Was tree removal imminent after all?”) in the Nov. 5 edition, the tree was dying two years ago when the arborist did his assessment of the tree’s health and stability. The arborist employed the use of the International Society of Arboriculture’s “Tree Hazard Evaluation Form.”
In this evaluation the arborist stated: “The tree is in decline and has a severe lean out and over the gangway. The roots of this tree are damaged and decaying. When the tree does fail (if left in its current condition) it will certainly hit the gangway.”
He goes on to recommend: “The prudent solution to the tree condition would be to remove the tree above the root collar just above the tide line.”
The tree was removed in the recommended fashion by Lefler’s Tree Service, which, at the time of removal, said that the tree was “almost dead.” There were very few branches left on the tree and when removed and ground up amounted to less than a wheelbarrow load of chips.
Once the tree was declared hazardous and if we failed to remove it, we would be negligent. And, according to our insurance provider: “If you are negligent and bodily injury or property damage results, then one is liable to pay the damages. If the city forbids its removal, then the city assumes the liability if the tree falls.”
The removal of a tree within the Native Vegetation Zone, (that is, within 50 feet of the high-water mark) even a tree that has been declared dangerous, is a convoluted process. The second focus of the article was to draw attention to the manner in which this whole process was handled. And that is another whole story.
Sun Day Cove
There’s much more to this tree saga
Is it the cutting of trees here that is the real issue (“A long wait for a tree’s downfall,” Nov. 1), or is it the incredibly convoluted machinations of the Planning Department and its staff at City Hall.
I have been privy to this saga over the last two years, and have found it more and more horrifying at the lost documents, the different answers given, the total lack of willingness to assist the applicants in their quest for a simple permit to remove trees – dangerous or otherwise.
To me, the trees are not the crux of this whole debacle. The crux is how can the citizens of this island continue to allow paid employees to put road blocks in the paths of legitimate requests for permits, assistance, advice or whatever they need.
City Hall should believe that its employees are servants to the citizens whose taxes pay their salaries. It should be – “How can I help you, today? What information can I give you? To whom may I direct your need?”
Perhaps this scenario does take place, and I hope it does. But somehow that gets no news. Perhaps we should hear from others, on both sides of this issue, who are willing to recount their experiences dealing with City Hall and in particularly the Planning Department. I hope for the city’s sake there are some more positive experiences.
Voters: Stand up and take a bow
The Kitsap County Republican Party extends its most sincere thanks and appreciation to the candidates and the voters who participated in the 2008 election process.
To each candidate, primary and general election, successful or not, you have earned our utmost respect through your personal courage and dedication to service of our community. You each campaigned hard and maintained your civility throughout. Thank You.
To the voters, what an amazing performance. You have clearly demonstrated that when motivated you will vote. Your message is clear. While we may be disappointed with the results, we will never be disappointed in such a positive demonstration of American democracy in action. Thank you.
Having cast your ballot, regardless of your choice, you now have the responsibility to monitor the performance of those who we elected to represent us and to hold them accountable for that performance. We each have a responsibility to observe performance critically and to speak out when performance does not meet standards.
We also have a responsibility to publicly notice good performance. Let us make sure that fact and not emotion guide our opinion and comments. The bottom line is that we elected individuals to represent us, not to rule or govern us.
When all else fails, go to Article I, Section 1 of our Washington Constitution for the basic performance parameter: “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.”
May our nation, our state, and our county witness the peaceful transfer and assignment of political power and continue to succeed in the unique experiment that is America.