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Hamden Council Committee Approves Hiring Arborist

United Illuminating's Enhanced Tree Trimming program prompted the proposal.

Patch File Photo.
Patch File Photo.



Town officials want to make sure any tree removed from around utility poles truly needs to be gone before any action is taken.

To that end, the Legislative Council's Administrative Committee approved spending up to $25,000 to hire a part-time arborist to work with United Illuminating in determining which trees will be removed as part of its "Enhanced Tree Trimming" program.

The town has a tree warden who will work with the arborist, Chief Administrative Officer Curt Balzano Leng said. 

"We feel we need the expertise of an arborist with experience in tree issues," Leng said. "The town's position is that this has gone too far."

But, he said there are some trees that should be taken down because they are not thriving, and the town welcomes help with those trees, he said. Otherwise, if a tree is healthy, a process needs to be followed to determine its fate, he said.

Council President Jim Pascarella, who also represents the eighth district, said he has been inundated with calls from residents concerned about the removal of desirable trees. But, he said, to his knowledge none of those calls have come from anyone who lives on a targeted street.

"I would like to see the list of tagged trees made public," Pascarella said. Property owners who own the trees are live adjacent to trees on public land need to be notified in writing by both the town and United Illuminating before any action is taken, he said.

"It's a struggle to balance the interests of the town with private property rights," he said.

United Illuminating, in its forum on the program Jan. 15, cited a state statute that allows it to carry out the program, Councilman-at-Large Austin Cesare said. The council should be approaching its state delegation, including Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, to get that law changed, he said.

Next Monday the proposal to allocate the funds goes to the full council.
Thomas Alegi January 28, 2014 at 05:24 AM
Councilman-at-Large Austin Cesare, there are a number of Connecticut state statute that would have to be reviewed before any changes to state statutes could be made. Example, “Eminent domain is the power to take private property for public use by a state or national government. However, it can be legislatively delegated by the state to municipalities. The most common uses of property taken by eminent domain are for government buildings and other facilities, public utilities, highways, and railroads; however, it may also be taken for reasons of public safety.” The words “Public Safety” “Public Utilities” and “Private Property” would start a debate in Hartford that would last for years, not to mention the words “Legislatively Delegated by the State to Municipalities” By the way I forgot to mention Hamden ordinances would have to be changed if the state did make any changes to state statutes. Ooops, there goes any quick action! Wouldn’t it be faster and cheaper for all parties to sit down and have a cup of coffee and work out a med-point of agreement aggrading tree removal and tree trimming by the UI? -------- Instead of paying Hard Ball, appoint Linda C, Len, JDC, Dan G and myself to Hamden’s taskforce on tree evolutions. But of course we would not want to get paid for our volunteer services; the town would just have to pay for coffee.
Len January 28, 2014 at 06:29 AM
Sounds great Tom! Im all in
John Flanagan January 28, 2014 at 09:26 AM
To the best of my knowledge, based on experience both from business and information gleaned from 7 terms on the Council, Towns [including Hamden] already have a right of way claim on the first 10 feet from the curbing or edge of the road. That's why the Town, normally, handles most sidewalk replacements. Looks like we, once again just spent money to appease those shouting the loudest and to fund another CYA file for administrative officials. But hey, we're funded by the 8th highest mil rate in the State so why not spend it as if we had it.
John Roach January 28, 2014 at 09:40 AM
Maybe the town should also have appointed a tree warden who just happened to be arborist instead of a politician. Just a small suggestion that would have saved tax dollars.
J D C January 28, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Yep, the fabulous HMB in action, the Hamden MONEY BURNERS strike again! They THINK we are this stupid its all a con. This goes further than the 10 feet, they NEED to GET ON OUR property and have the UI BLACKSHIRTS (4 u Thomas) TELL US what tree's "need" to come down for this to "work" haha, but at OUR expense of course. Btw, there goes ANY chance at $25k of keeping the "arborist" from POSSIBLY getting bought, DUBAI "west" here we come!!! LOL PS Thomas, I would appreciate it if you wouldnt volunteer me to work for COFFEE, I'm NOT that easy thank you very much! AND will be sufficient.
J D C January 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM
John Roach, HOW in Gods name was an arborist NOT appointed? Who is it and WHO appoints him/her? If this isnt the comedy hour I dont know.......... this town has got to be effen serious!
Tony January 28, 2014 at 10:22 AM
Is the superintendent of trees a union or not a union position? Who appointed him or her?
Len January 28, 2014 at 10:27 AM
Micky mouse did Tony.
Don Charles January 28, 2014 at 11:10 AM
Sure pay 25,000 for a political hack and the hell with what the police need in cameras. Another great move by a bunch of fools on the council. Worst council ever, a total waste .
Thomas Alegi January 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM
Len, I just got off the telephone with Mickey Mouse’s publicist, Jay who said MM would like to thank the people of Hamden for their support and everlasting friendship, but MM is still recovering from one of the most boring mayoral races ever in Hamden’s History. So please give MM some time to recover, Jay said. Jay went on to say, we should get in contact with Woody Woodpecker. WW knows more about trees then any Hamden tree warden or arborist. Jay also said it’s a bit early for Councilman-at-Large Austin Cesare to start exploring his chances for running for mayor in the Republican Party in Hamden. “That! That! That’s All Folks!”
Linda C January 28, 2014 at 01:12 PM
All I keep hearing is TREE REMOVAL!!!! Believe me I live on a street that was a VICTIM of the Town TRIMMING trees all the way down to the 6 inch STUMPS that remain after 2 years. But why must it be ALL or NOTHING? How about TRIMMING (really just a trim) the trees that are potential problems instead of starting at the bottom of the trunk? We give Criminals every chance in the world before they get Chopped off from the community - why not give the Trees that actually give something back to society the same consideration? And I agree with Don Charles - they OK 25k for a YES MAN and deny 35k to the Police Dept for body Cameras - What are these people thinking?
Thomas Alegi January 28, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Police body cams, plausible denial would be gone, not for the cops, but for the bad guys. Bad guy in Court, ‘Your honor, I belong to the actors union I need to get scale for the video you just reviewed, Thank You, your Honor. Judge, ‘Mr. Bad guy file a grievance, you are not getting anything, but 20 years in jail, so you will have a lot of time to improve your acting skills. Next case.’
Len January 28, 2014 at 04:40 PM
Linda. Look in the mirror. It is your fault, and the other few hundred idiots that demanded a "tree expert" be hired to try and salvage your beloved little trees while our police officers, who serve our town unconditionaly, regardless of our dum dum mayor and inconsiderate citizens like yourslelf go out there against bad guys without the lateset greatest protection. If all you people just let things go as they should ( and they most certanly will) instead of all your petitions and web sites and face book ads the town wouldnt have to allocate finds for your stupid tree expert and possibly spend the money saveing our police officers. We all sit here and knock our officials, but they have to make these decisions to have these meetings verse cameras for our cops. Thats not easy
J D C January 28, 2014 at 05:39 PM
I see you didnt read the article about the vote? Maybe you should before you make anymore of a fool of yourself.
Thomas Alegi January 28, 2014 at 07:17 PM
Len, these internet petitions are useless without residency verification. There are programs (apps) on the internet that can flood petitions sites on the internet with bogus names. Creatable internet petitions sites will ask the petition signer to enter a code, which the petition site sends the signer, to verify that a human is at the key board and not one of these apps is sending the information.
Thomas Alegi January 28, 2014 at 11:56 PM
Linda, who have been asking about changing Town Charter here is an interesting internet site to go to. http://charterreformnow.wordpress.com/
Linda C January 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Interesting Thomas but not surprising - why would they do anything to give away their ultimate power - yet they're the only one with the power to table it - Unreal!! Thanks Thomas
Linda C January 29, 2014 at 12:18 PM
Len what the hell are You Smoking? I am not now nor ever been in favor of hiring an Arborist!!! All I said is why must this so called tree trimming begin at the base of the tree - do you really need an arborist to tell you how to TRIM BACK LIMBS? Just doesn't seem to be an option was my point - I also commented on how STUPID it was to spend 25k on an Arborist yet deny 35 k for cop cameras - so wake up bud!! lol
Linda C January 29, 2014 at 12:26 PM
Also the trees I was complaining about were 20 out of 22 trees on my street that were taken down to 6 inch stubs so that the Street Paver and Snow Plow wouldn't get SCRATCHED!!! They put hand written notes in peoples mailboxes on Friday Morning that they would be trimming the trees and when people returned from work Friday night - all the trees were GONE!!! Don't need a tree expert to tell you that was MESSED UP!! So please Len accuse me of anything other than being on the side of the IDIOTS WHO RUN THIS TOWN!!!

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