« Downtown trees destroyed: shame on U.S. Bank and City of Salem | Main | How U.S. Bank got to cut down five beautiful downtown Salem trees »

April 12, 2013


When public interest and business interest collide, it is STACked in business' favor. I find it hard to accept that trees the public wanted planted on the public right of way means we don't now have any standing. I am getting pissed off at living in a town where the idea of ambiance is the quality of a bottom line rather than something that would make you proud. Said differently, what is good for the Chamber is good for you.

Aristotle wrote that "What is common to the greatest number gets the least amount of care. Men pay most attention to what is their own; they care less for what is common; or at any rate they care for it only to the extent to which each is individually concerned. Even when there is no other cause for inattention, men are more prone to neglect their duty when they think that another is attending to it."

Until it is taken away.

Aristotle was addressing how we care more for our own infrastructure than we do that of the polis. But we increasingly live in a Judge Roy Bean world where, instead of "we'll give him a fair trial and then we'll hang him" we have forces that say the process if fair if you can vote, but you don't have any meaningful input into the process. You can vote for a council person, mayor, or commissioner (see the glory of our democracy) but they will listen to them rather than to you. Or, as Marcuse might have said it, you can have dozens of choices of toothpaste, but you can't have adequate dental care.

When you trust the process and then get stiffed, you do things like yell and scream in the lobby of Ladd and Bush, and get arrested, even though the mischief occurred when the Bank (and Chamber?) persuaded Council to override citizen input.

Too bad. a true shame. I wonder; did U.S. Bank pay to have them removed or was it done by the city? The bank would have no liabilty regarding city trees. The city would be responsible for any repairs to the concrete or the building resulting from the roots. The bank was not the one cleaning the sidewalk or street of any tree-related mess. There must be more to this...

Jason J.Ladue
ISA-certified arborist,
owner,Aerials Tree Service
Salem, OR
[email protected]

Nope I pulled my account from those dirt bags years ago.

jason, yes, I think there is more to this. I'm getting some indications that the city didn't want to cut the trees down, but was forced to because US Bank took advantage of some loopholes in a city ordinance.

Am trying to learn more. It'd be nice if the Statesman Journal would do some investigative reporting on this. My suspicion is that in the end, US Bank is going to come out looking worse, and the City of Salem better.

The City requested the State Street trees be removed in 2010 as part of the road/sidewalk repaving. The City's Urban Forester reported to the Shade Tree Committee the roots could be trimmed and the trees would not need removal. The Shade Tree Committee denied the City's request for removal

In July 2012, US Bank requested permission to remove the 5 State Street Trees. Again the Shade Tree Committee denied their request.

In Jan 2013, US Bank again requested the 5 State Street trees be removed. The Shade Tree Committee asked for public input. Several people testified, 5 emails were entered into testimony, along with a petition signed by 22 downtown employees and business owners, and the CAN-DO Neighborhood Association- asking for the trees to remain. The Shade Tree Committee, again, denied US Bank's request.

US Bank "verbally appealed" the decision to the City's Director of Public Works. A decision was finalized on March 13, which went into effect on March 19th, and a cutting permit was issued. US Bank is paying the full cost of removing the trees, stumps and planting replacement trees.

The City did not contact the people, who testified at the last Shade Tree Committee, that the decision had been overturned until Friday, April 5.

Before you blame all businesses in Salem (for getting what they want at the expense of citizens), please focus in. The businesses getting what they want are the business elite in the Salem Chamber of Commerce. Yes, Ryan Allbritton is incoming President of the Salem Chamber.

Just as important, where are our city councilors? They are elected to represent us - the citizens. They were contacted and chose to take no action. Several of our City Councilors were voted into their council seats by public support of the Chamber Board and by the voting membership of the Salem Chamber of Commerce. The other councilors know, to keep their seats, they need to play along with the Chamber.

This is very bad for Salem as a community. It is time to take a stand. Remove your money from US Bank and ask US Bank to transfer Ryan Allbritten to another branch - give us a bank manager with a better moral compass - and greater allegiance to US Bank's Code of Ethics, it's customers and our community.


To place a complaint about Ryan Allbritten's violations of US Banks Ethics, visit: www2.usbank.com/cgi_cfm/about/ethics/ethics_feedback.cfm%20

Be sure to read the "Code of Ethics & Business Conduct" so you can quote the ethics violations Mr Allbritten has committed.

If you want to contact your city council, they can all be reached at this email address: CityCouncil.CityofSalem.net Please request the City Council re-write SRC 86 (Trees and Shubs Ordinance) so this will never happen again!

Nobody forced the Public Works Director's hand. There is nothing in SRC 86 that addresses existing trees in front of historic buildings. It only talks about planting new ones. This is one of many situations where city staff have some discretion but over and over again they favor more asphalt and concrete, and less trees and livablilty.

Im sure it was some poor tellers decision to cut those trees down. Probably makes 9 bucks an hour and she has to put up with that turd. Anyone who has half a brain knows no one in that branch made that decision. There used to be trees where his restaurant is. Ill pop in later and yell at a dishwasher.

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