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Monday, October 15, 2012

Trees: Business Interests Trump Residents Interests

In its ongoing investigation about what went wrong with the street trees at the Parkside Project on Powell Street, The Secret News along with Emeryville resident Adrian McGilly uncover a subterfuge program meant to further business interests at the expense of residents interests, including prevarication by the city staff.  In a February 7, 2012 memo to the City Manager and the city council, Planning Director Charlie Bryant said flatly the reason the trees would need to be cut down was to "accommodate the park and the [final, not temporary] parking lot".  As the still unfolding story reveals, that was a fabrication by Mr Bryant.
Here's the latest Secret News story on these trees:

City Willing to Trade 20-Year-Old Trees for Temporary Parking

October 15, 2012
By Adrian McGilly
Council Member Jac Asher has put on the agenda for the next City Council meeting (Oct. 16th) a discussion of whether the city should change the design of the Parkside park to include some or all of the existing trees. Council Member Asher’s willingness to do this shows her commitment to transparent government. It shows that she wants the freedom to cast her votes on the basis of complete information, not partial information cherry-picked by city staff. It shows that she values the right of Emeryville’s residents to receive proper notification (i.e. signs posted on the trees) when the city is contemplating the removal of its trees.
Her actions have already yielded results. In response, Charles Bryant, Planning Director for the City of Emeryville, has issued a Staff Report which finally reveals the real motivation behind the removal of these trees....

Read the rest of the story by clicking HERE.

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