Last night I blogged about how surprised I was that nobody appealed the screwy decision by the City of Salem to allow five beautiful mature downtown trees to be removed after US Bank asked for permission to kill them.
I've learned a likely reason: opponents of the tree-cutting weren't notified of the City's decision to approve to tree removal until April 5. And when did the document they got say the deadline for an appeal to be filed was?
It looks to me like the City of Salem screwed up. Big time.
If timely notice, which I believe is 15 days, wasn't given to affected parties of their opportunity to appeal the approval decision, it's fair to say that the trees were cut down illegally.
Three trees have been killed so far. The other two await their death once migrating birds depart. I've sent several "Urgent!" emails to the Salem Mayor and City Manager offices, along with other city staff.
I told them that it'd be a shame, to put it mildly, if the last two trees were also cut down before a proper legal appeal could take place. Of course, the best move would be for the City to amend its decision, ordering the remaining trees to stay.
Or US Bank could do the right thing and agree to leave those two trees alone.
Since US Bank has never come up with a good reason for why they want the trees to be removed, they should replace the three trees they've killed, and let the others rest in peace... alive.
When I learn more from the City, I'll share more.
[Update: here's a PDF file of the letter that was received by an opponent of the tree-cutting on April 5 at 3:30 pm. I've blacked out the name of the person.]
Download Removal of State Street Trees (no name)