considers efforts to protect trees in town
Village Council at its meeting Monday discussed how the Village could
protect historic trees and whether Council supports the creation of a
tree preservation ordinance and a tree review board.
Council members, who seemed uncertain about both ideas, said they needed
more time to discuss this endeavor.
Council is considering two similar proposals. One, which was written by
the ad hoc Tree Preservation Ordinance Subcommittee, would establish a
tree review board to review the cutting down or removal of all trees downtown
and trees six inches in diameter on Village property, school district
property, commercial and light industrial zones and in urban forests.
The review process would be completed in 21 days, allowing time for education,
investigation and public involvement.
The tree board would also create an inventory of significant trees
When it was presented last spring, Council seemed generally supportive
of the tree groups proposal.
The second proposal comes from the Village Planning Commission and recommends
the Village participate in the Tree City USA program, which is organized
by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State
Under that program, the Village would establish a tree board that would
be responsible for the care and management of trees in Yellow Springs.
The Village would also have to create a tree ordinance that would provide
clear guidance for planting, maintaining and removing trees
on public property.
During the meeting Dec. 2, Council member Joan Horn said she supported
the creation of a tree review board.
Council president Tony Arnett said providing a waiting period before a
tree is cut down would give the public a chance, through a tree board,
to comment, and be involved in the process. When two Osage orange trees
were removed in Kings Yard last year, Arnett said, some people said they
at least wanted to have a say in that action.
Other Council members, however, questioned the usefulness of the board.
Council member Denise Swinger, for instance, said she was not against
the board, but wanted assurance that the board would not increase expenses
for the Village. She also said the board could not make a difference unless
it could leverage punitive charges, a power neither proposal contains
Council member Hazel Latson emphasized the need to educate people about
trees before they are planted. She also said she would not support a waiting
period because there are many different conditions when trees need
to be cut down.
I dont want to see the village fighting itself on cutting
down trees, she said.
* * *
In other Council business:
Village Manager Rob Hillard reported that he has been discussing
with the cities of Huber Heights and Xenia the Villages efforts
to find a new way to collect income taxes. Last month, the Village learned
that the City of Dayton, which has collected the tax for the Village for
more than 30 years, would stop collecting income taxes for other municipalities
Hillard said he hopes to provide Council with a proposal by its next meeting,
Council approved 40 a resolution increasing Hillards
annual salary to $78,900 from $78,000. Council member George Pitstick
The move came after Council evaluated Hillard in executive session at
its meeting Nov. 18.
Council approved 40 the second reading of an ordinance revising
the fee schedule for door-to-door vendors and solicitors.
Under the ordinance, which amended chapter 860 of the Village Codified
Ordinances, the Village will require vendors selling magazines, medicine,
goods, services, wares or anything of value to obtain a license from the
Village, for a $25 fee. The license would be good for 30 days.
Representatives of religious, patriotic, charitable or civic organizations
would not have to obtain a vendors license from the Village.
Council approved 40 the second reading of an ordinance amending
the codified ordinances for the Environmental Commission and Cable Advisory
Commission in an effort to establish an attendance policy for Council-appointed
boards and commissions. The policy allows Council to remove commission
members for failing to attend three consecutive meetings.
Council approved 40 an emergency ordinance allowing the Village
to give employees who receive health insurance from the Village part of
the proceeds of the Villages sale of stock from Anthem Blue Cross
and Blue Shield. The Village received stock from Anthem when the company
went public last year. Because the Village cannot hold stock, it must
sell its shares. Village employees will receive 15 percent of the proceeds,
which Hillard estimated could be as high as $140,000.
Council members said they would try to hold a special meeting in
January to discuss plans to hold a community visioning project.
At its meeting Nov. 18, after meeting in executive session, Council
unanimously agreed to appoint Bill Bebko to the Environmental Commission.