I wonder if you noticed the incident that recently happened involving a very old tree and a utility company. Residents Jim and Jane Helm discovered a subcontractor for a utility getting ready to chop limbs on an old tree on their property. This has led to an investigation into the conduct of the West Vincent Police Department. Who did the investigation? The Township Attorney firm of Siana, Belwoar and McAndrew. What? The Township, in essence, ran it's own investigation? From what I have been able to determine, the investigation and related costs is at $16,000 and climbing.

I am not questioning the actions of the Police and certainly not of the Landowners. As it turns out, the subcontractor was not supposed to be there, according to James Helm. In fact, because of the Helm's obstinance, it looks like there may be some cooperation with protecting the tree. I am no tree hugger and it isn't my tree but it is pretty old. I would guess that the Utility would work with the residents.

I did notice that the Township stance (according to one meeting video) it that the tree is on “Township” property. This perverse attitude is the the same one they used when trying to steal the Horse Show Grounds. In this instance, they believe that because the Township has a Right of Way, that it is Township ground. While the Township has certain rights on that section of property, I would wager that the Helm family pays taxes right to the centerline of the road, meaning that the tree is on the Helm property.

I am not sure of many things about this incident but I do commend the Helm family for doing what they can to protect something that they cherish, risking getting arrested and it seems that they were somewhat right in their position, that is, that the utility will be working with them instead of performing the standard hack and slash. Also, at this point in time, there are two totally different points of view on what was asked of the township pertaining to this investigation. As Supervisor David Brown stated, he believes that the full report should be released to the public in order to vindicate the Police. But is this about vindication and in the end, we may never know if the $16,000 taxpayer expense was necessary or if the extensive review was merely to shame some residents.

See http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150815/west-vincent-supervisors-to-release-full-report-of-police-conduct-investigation

Best wishes


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