mike mocciae said he will fix the mess he authorized

Mike called this morning to tell Stanley that indeed, the tree was on our property and that the city will replace the tree and hedge next week. We are a little stunned at the speed at which this was resolved—but glad. Don’t have any details yet about what, exactly, they are going to replace a mature maple with or what the plan is, but I’m really happy that they are planning on fixing the problem. Getting the sound buffer and privacy back is what we’re after and if this is restored, and restored properly, we’ll be satisfied.

Mary Roman, the City Clerk, said she sent our claim to the insurance company already. Thank you, Ms. Roman!

Most of the tree stumps were picked up yesterday—I called to ask when this was going to be done as the other days the precious kiddies of Nathan Hale Middle School were clambering all over the stumps and I envisioned one of them getting a sliver up his butt and his parents suing us over it. Mayor Moccia helped light a fire under the cleanup, according to Jeffrey Spahr, a city attorney who called yesterday and today. Moccia said, we were told, that regardless of whether the tree was on city property or private property, Almstead had no business leaving a dangerous mess like that.

Spahr also told Stanley that we have to trim our front hedge back to the sidewalk line. It’s petty crap that we knew we’d be asked to do sooner or later—there’s plenty of room on the sidewalk—but we’ll do it anyway. According to Mocciae, people have been complaining about the hedge overhanging the sidewalk. Of course no one ever let us know that it was a problem, and it was never an issue until recently when someone decided that it would be a good thing if the kiddies walk to school instead of being picked up and dropped off by mommies with their SUV prams. For their health. Hence the sudden urgency to kill a tree that might potentially someday drop a branch on Suzy’s head (I thought trees are a big part of the plan for healthy living, but what do I know?)

If they’re so concerned about the safety of the kiddies walking to school on Strawberry Hill Avenue, does this mean the city is going to do something about the speeding and maybe even put a traffic light it at the corner of Tierney Street? If they don’t, this “get the kids to walk” campaign will probably result in kids getting maimed or killed crossing the street. Would love to see the speeding problem fixed on this street—that would be the best way to promote health around here, for everyone, not just the kiddies.

So I’m hopeful that the city will make good on their mistake. Trying not to be cynical, trying not to assume they’ll plant a twig and say that it’s an appropriate replacement for a mature tree, or twigs to replace a 40-year-old hedge. I so want to be wrong about my expectations.

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