Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of the OLD LYME TREE COMMISSION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2016 4:00 P. M. OLD LYME TOWN HALL MEZZANINE
ATTENDANCE Members present: Joanne DiCamillo (regular), Anne Bing (regular),
Emily Griswold (regular) and Joan Flynn (alternate) Members absent: Gerry Foster (regular) Ex-officio members absent: Tom Degnan, Tree Warden, Alan Miezejeski
Chairman Joanne DiCamillo called the meeting to order at 4:10 P. M.
Mrs. DiCamillo requested a motion to elevate alternate member Joan Flynn to regular voting member. Motion by Anne Bing, second by Emily Griswold, motion was approved unanimously.
The minutes of the 10-20-16 regular meeting were reviewed. Motion by Joan Flynn to approve the minutes as written, second by Anne Bing, motion was approved unanimously.
The minutes of the 11-3-16 special meeting were reviewed. Motion by Joan Flynn to approve the minutes as written, second by Anne Bing, motion was approved unanimously.
Current balance reported by Finance on 11-16-17 is $14,800; no new expenditures since the Oct. report.
Review and approve 2017-2018 tree commission budget proposal
Chairman DiCamillo reviewed the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 budget line items with the members. The budget request for each year was $16,050 and she suggested that it remain the same for 2017-2018. After discussing the figures, a motion was made by Joan Flynn to request $16,050 for 2017-2018, second by Anne Bing. Motion was approved unanimously.
Dr. Flynn and Mrs. DiCamillo have been notified that their terms expire at the end of the year.
Duck River Garden Club Civic Beautification Site
Mrs. DiCamillo reported that the chairman of the committee that maintains the garden club plantings at the Police Station called her to express frustration and anger about an incident that happened recently. For more than 20 years, the garden club has maintained the site, planted flowers and roses and financed new plants with the club’s budget monies. She informed Mrs. DiCamillo that Ed Adanti, Director of Public Works, had recently hired a landscaper to cut down the shrub roses and cut back the perennials growing on the site without notifying the club. Mrs. DiCamillo responded that he did not seek approval from the Tree Commission or the Tree Warden regarding his intentions. This action is in direct violation of the Old Lyme Tree Ordinance. The garden club member stated that she protested his actions to Mrs.
Mrs. DiCamillo reminded the members, that this is not the first incident when Mr. Adanti has acted erratically. She cited an event in 2014 when he directed the sudden removal and severe pruning of a large number of young shrubs planted in the front foundation beds at Town Hall. He acted independently and without oversight at that time, leading the town crew and hiring a contractor to carry out the work. Clearly, Mr. Adanti feels that the ordinance rules do not apply to him and has repeatedly ignored them.
As reflected in the November 2014 tree commission minutes, Mr. Degnan and Mrs. DiCamillo met with Ms. Reemsnyder after the incident to object to Mr. Adanti’s actions. Earlier that same year, the commission members, Mr. Degnan and Mrs. Reemsnyder met after a resident complained about public works unauthorized trimming. They developed a three part plan with the goal of preventing a similar incident from taking place again. At that meeting, Mrs. Reemsnyder volunteered to draft a written policy, stating the obligations of public works relating to tree trimming and any other work performed by them. To Mrs. DiCamillo’s knowledge, the First Selectwoman did not follow through with her commitment as there has been no further contact or review of the policy with her or Mr. Degnan. And apparently, as the recent incident
indicates, Mrs. Reemsnyder has not discussed the plan with Mr. Adanti. A discussion among the commission members followed.
The chairman requested an update on November 15 from Cathy Frank on the progress of the contract she drafted between the town and the approved tree company who will be trimming trees on four town roads. Mr. Degnan and Mrs. DiCamillo approved the language of the draft on Nov. 9. Cathy Frank reported that she had not heard back from First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and they are unable to notify any of the bidders until the contract is finalized. She will contact Ms. Reemsnyder for an update.
The bids were opened on November 2. The deadline for completion of the work is December 15.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
A motion was made by Anne Bing; seconded by Joan Flynn to adjourn the meeting at 5:16 P.M.
The next scheduled meeting of the Old Lyme Tree Commission will be held December 15, 2016 at 4:00 P.M. in Old Lyme Town Hall.
Joanne DiCamillo, Acting Clerk