Why Vote on Tuesday? Reason #1: The Bellevue Tree Fiasco

Not sure if or how you might vote during the local primary elections on Tuesday? Liberty in Bellevue is here to give you three solid reasons to vote in favor of new leadership in our community.

The first reason you should vote is the “Epic Bellevue Tree Fiasco!” In September 2012, Bellevue Council was invited to submit an application for the TreeVitalize Program of The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The TreeVitalize Program is an opportunity to receive hundreds of FREE trees to be planted around the borough, and in particular, around the cinder lot of Bellevue Parl. A no brainer, right? We thought so as well.

That was until we sat and listened to certain members of our council fight tooth and nail to spend $3000 on a handful of trees from the Steel City Landscaping Company. The Steel City Landscaping Company just so happens to be owned by known political meddler Mark Purcell’s son.

Rather than taking advantage of a regional effort to plant 20,000 trees throughout western PA, fully funded by Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, Tree Pittsburgh, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, council members Jane Braunlich, Jim Viscusi, Sue Viscusi, and President Woshner sought every reason under the sun to throw away ever shrinking tax payer dollars. 

But, don’t take our word for it. Watch the video and see for yourself!

Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday!

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4 Responses to “Why Vote on Tuesday? Reason #1: The Bellevue Tree Fiasco”

  1. I guess some topics do not change. Linda spoke passionately this past Tuesday about 1 free tree. She proclaimed, (The ruling President) does not want a shallow rooted tree and make sure it is deep rooted. Free! Why is free so bad? Say thank you and move on. Free, is a gift. Same deal with the military equipment cannon issue. Free, what, gee whiz, we have to go pick it up? Say “Thank You” pick up the item and move on. If Bellevue can’t afford the delivery cost of a cannon, tank or airplane then say “No thanks!” and get on with life. Why does it need to be a drag our feet miss the opportunity situation on such little things? There are so many serious and highly important issues to deal with and accepting a free TREE sapling became a dissertation on water tables and growth patterns. Free! Bellevue’s money doesn’t grow on trees. The citizens have to earn it for you to spend it President Wosher. You want to protect us from tripping on a tree root but not International Codes that do not solidly protect us from unreasonable searches by a building inspector. Major on the mole hills. Why don’t you tackle the mountains, just because it might take a little effort to get approval for an amendment from the international board that wrote the ordinances to clarify ‘reasonable’ it wasn’t worth the change? The penalties for a citizen not being ‘reasonable’ were sure worth the extra effort to amend.

  2. The cost of the trees was about $1800 which was used as a buffer for the cinder lot at Memorial Park which is not aesthetically pleasing. The Ross residents had valid complaints and as a good neighbor, council purchase trees and they were planted and cared for by 4 or 5 of the residents. There was no guarantee of getting the free trees from TreeVitalize and the dog park was to open the following Spring which would create a lot of traffic and dust. We did not get the TreeVitalize trees, therefore, it was a good idea to purchase the trees. If and when we can get free trees, I am sure we will have a place to use them.
    Concerning the free tree from a resident for Bayne park, I am concerned about trees with shallow roots. Shallow roots lift sidewalks and the roots can become a tripping hazard. What is wrong with questioning the type of tree? If there is a choice, a deep rooted tree would be preferable. This is a park and the area where the tree would be planted is used by children who run around after balls and etc. A free tree is not advantageous if it causes problems in the future.

    Concerning Beth’s allegations about unlawful searches in the International Fire Code and the International Building Maintenance codes, I asked the solicitor, fire marshal and the code enforcement officer to research Beth’s concerns. The solicitor assured Beth that there is a lawful approach to insure the rights of our residents.

    • Who submitted the petition from the Ross residents? If a council majority voted to cut down the trees a year earlier then why didn’t you make a motion to replace them at the time in the spirit of being a good neighbor?

      Can you enlighten us on why we were turned down for free trees? In the interests of transparency please let us know.

      I agree with you on not wanting a tripping hazard in our park, but if this was an efficient council why did absolutely no one have any information regarding the type of tree? Why wasn’t it discussed in the parks and rec committee prior to the council meeting?

      I do appreciate the solicitor taking the time to look into the ipc. Now if only we enforced it completely. As I recall our code enforcement officer made a great suggestion to help get more feet out on the street. He is the expert on such things and you and Jane and others ignored him and told him no.

      A good legislator gets questions answered for the citizen prior to making a decision. For someone that claims to want to take it slow because change doesn’t happen quickly you guys seem to be able to make quick decisions on everything.

      • Linda Woshner May 21, 2013 at 9:09 am

        I wanted the trees to be planted after they were cut down. I did not have the votes to do it. I did try. Remember, we had 5 councilpersons who voted the same all except 2 or 3 times.

        We never turned down the free trees. We did not get the grant for TreeVitalize. Also, I helped find a person licensed as a Tree Tender to give us the need trained Tree Tender persons to apply for the grant.

        We have a part-time manager who cannot do all that is needed. We are doing the best we can.

        As for the code enforcement, I am not sure what you are talking about. I can say when I was told about the possibility of an summer intern, I mentioned the need for help in code enforcement. The Public Safety committee agreed. We now have a summer intern who is walking our borough identifying our problem properties. This information will be organized to help our code enforcement officer.

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