Did you know that Sir John Dalberg-Action in the 1800’s said “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”? This very powerful statement has been proven true through history at all levels of government.
Why do I bring this to your attention? The reason is your local government and the arrogance of power that appears to be on display. In the most recent pre-council meeting, a debate was held about planting trees in the cinder lot at Bellevue Memorial Park to act as a buffer for the neighboring Ross Township residents, due to the predicted increase in parking with the opening of the dog park. These 21 trees at a cost of just under $3000 would replace the approximately 12 trees that were removed 3 years ago. (They were removed 3 years ago, as they were growing into the power lines and uncared for). And, oh yes, these new trees will be planted in the exact same spot where the trees were removed 3 years ago.
My point today is not with if the trees should be planted or if the trees should have been removed in the first place; my concern is with how Council has decided to pay for them. As it was proposed to Council, the hard earned money from taxpayers would pay for the trees but it was also brought to the attention of Council that there was a strong possibility that free trees could be obtained through a tree vitalization program. In addition to this, the public made comments at the meeting of supporting going for the free trees and one person, who is educated as a landscape architect, stated that the current plan had some flaws, such as the type of tree being selected in mass should be looked at and that how they were being placed was not a good idea. We all know what happened next…….Council President Woshner stated that she read on the Internet that what was planned was indeed the best and I can only assume this means our educated professionals are dead wrong!
I will pause here for a moment and let you think about what you just read…………………You got it, arrogance of power, power that corrupts, a decision of the majority of the council members present to spend your money instead of trying to get the same, if not better trees, that would have been hand selected and the instillation overseen by an Arborist, again at no cost. One good thing did happen, a compromise was reached and Council decided to only purchase 15 trees and attempt to get the rest for free, the price tag dropped to just under $2500. Doesn’t that make you feel better knowing that Council saved $500 of your tax money? Arrogance of power, power that corrupts, just another example of a majority of Council that will get what they want, when they want it, for the projects they hold dear and the hell with what is best for all of Bellevue and you, the taxpayer.