Thursday, July 18, 2013

Council meeting fizzles in heat of summer

Posted By on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Sharply dressed, members of the Bend City Council could have conducted business set to Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” Wednesday night. (Listen while you read, really, it might spice it up)

However, discussions weren’t quite as sharp, as the topics went from moderately interesting to humdrum.

Trees were a point of discussion during the work session in regards to the city’s tree removal process. A panel composed of city staff explained to councilors just how it breaks down, such as when complaints are made, or when trees pose a threat.

Bend’s Public Works Director Paul Rheault said everyone enjoys trees, but that they become a problem with sewer lines.

“Trees are always seeking water,” he pointed out. “They wedge their way into pipes and ultimately cause destruction.”

An issue with a tree at Franklin Avenue and Ninth Street recently sparked talks on whether the city should form a tree board.

Mayor Jim Clinton voiced his support, but some on council felt if a board hasn’t been necessary in the past, why is it now.

From there, basic housekeeping items were discussed, and residents spoke during public comment, one of whom suggested Councilor Doug Knight is placed on the Mirror Pond Committee.

Things got a little heated when councilors Mark Capell and Victor Chudowsky, who both already sit on the pond committee, defended themselves about continuing to serve in the roles.

“We made a certain commitment to bring this thing to fruition,” Chudowsky said.

Councilor Scott Ramsay joked he couldn’t believe four councilors wanted to serve on a committee involving a topic that’s divided the community.

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