2006-04-27 / News

Tree panel hung up with lack of quorum

By Michaela Kennedy

The Town Tree Protection and Preservation Committee went a second month in a row with no quorum, hindering its ability to proceed with projects or vote on business matters.

"We have so few members that there's no room for anyone not to show up," said Tree Committee Chairman Emmet Turley. Turley expressed frustration with the accumulating agenda items and the inability to act on them.

Not only were four members absent from the April 18 meeting, but some of them did not even contact the committee, said Turley. "We made rules of conduct, and one of them is to call when you can't make it. It's a common courtesy," said Town Tree Warden Dave Nickerson, adding that the committee has lacked a quorum more than three times in the last year.

Turley said that committee member Robert Dolan was in Florida and would not be back for another month. He also said that he had not heard from committee member Matt Largess, who represented the business community, or Conservation Commission Liaison Danielle Minto, who had not attended or contacted the committee in months. Frank Andres was another committee member who had not attended the last two meetings. Turley noted that it was time that each member be contacted directly to find out what their intentions were for the committee.

Nickerson said that according to the tree ordinance, a representative from the Conservation Commission was not needed if another member came from the green industry, which encompasses businesses involved in tree care and landscaping. Since committee member Judith DiBello was a former landscape nursery owner in the green industry, another position could be opened up for a member that would be active, he said. Nickerson noted that the group "should pursue someone who is ambitious" to serve on the committee.

Although the committee lacked a quorum, those present welcomed newly-appointed Planning Commission Liaison Michael White.

In a meeting of the Conservation Commission earlier in the month, Commission Chairman Christopher Powell brought up the need for commissioners to participate in liaison positions, and asked board members to consider volunteering.

Nickerson told the committee members present that only half of the trees delivered for the Town Forest project were planted on Saturday, April 15. He told the committee that workers would be hired to plant the remaining trees. Nickerson asked that someone from the committee water the trees that have yet to be planted.

"The Boy Scouts did a heck of a job in helping out on planting day at the Town Forest," Nickerson said. He expressed his gratitude to the families and volunteers who came to the forest on Melrose Avenue to help plant the 59 varieties of native trees.

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