...continued from page 1
In fact, from a conversation with Roth and Westmoreland, there was no indication that either of them had consulted Cusimano, the man being paid by the citizens of Greensboro
to be the city's tree expert, about the current situation.
They do say he will be involved in the future.
There were probably 30 to 40 city staff members at the council meeting on Tuesday, but Cusimano wasn't one of them. A meeting on trees that attracted over 100 citizens and not Greensboro
's urban forester is strange any way you slice it.
By pretending that Cusimano doesn't exist, which is the strategy the city is employing, the city can point the finger at evil Duke Energy and deflect the wrath of the citizens. But a large amount of that wrath should be directed at the City of Greensboro
if it continues to have a tin ear about exactly what the problem is.
Here is a note to the folks of Westerwood and Southside who spoke at the Greensboro
City Council meeting on Tuesday: Mayor Perkins didn't want to allow you to speak. Before the meeting he told Councilmember Yvonne Johnson that the council had heard from the public once and would hear from the public again if an ordinance was presented, so the council didn't have to dhear from the public at that meeting. He also noted that a lot of speakers had signed up and it would take a long time to hear them all.
While Perkins was speaking, Johnson was rolling her eyes and evidently she convinced Perkins that to tell over 100 people who had come to the meeting for this issue that they could not speak would have been political suicide. But Perkins clearly wanted to deny speakers the right to speak.
This is the same Perkins who made a huge deal out of speakers from the floor being moved to later in the meeting by former Mayor Bill Knight. For the record, when the City Council took its two-hour break at 7:42, the speakers from the floor had not yet been heard, so they are definitely not first on the agenda.
Montgomery keeps stating that Duke Energy doesn't cut down trees without notifying the owner. In my yard during the past 10 years Duke Energy has sent crews out to cut down trees on my property not in the right-of-way three times, and I have never been notified of anything.
Finally, City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan said that if the Asplundh tree cutting crew comes on a citizen's property, that citizen has the right to ask them to prove they have a right to be there. He said Duke Energy would go back and research what its rights were regarding that piece of property. But when cutting starts up again, it may prove to be a good way to delay the process.