Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Dennis, I just love it when you give me the opportunity to twist your tail about something. First off, some time back you seem to have decided to put the “d” back in the last name that my great grandfather paid good money and went before a judge to have removed. I’ve never spelled it that way in any of the e-mails I’ve sent you, but what the heck, it’s better than some of the nick names I’ve been tagged with over the years.
Secondly, considering the information in Wednesday’s Nov. 18, Around the Town article under the subheading “Trees treated differently at Del Webb”, page A7, I guess I need to straighten the record a bit in my view as to what happened Tuesday night at the Manteca City Council meeting. I did not say that the “Del Webb management has refused to replace the trees after they are removed”; however I did speak to the fact that the Del Webb administration has indicated they are in possession of unofficial e-mail correspondence from the City indicating that replacement was not required. I did also speak to the fact that people at Del Webb want the trees replaced that have been removed due to disease. I made it a point to indicate replacement was required under both the Manteca Municipal Code and the City of Manteca Street Tree Plan.
The initial response from City staff Tuesday night was that since the homeowner’s association was responsible for maintenance of the trees, the City had no jurisdiction. Now we all know that is a load of stuff that smells to high heaven. Why would the trees have been required in the City ordinance, Street Tree Plan, and the original development agreement if they were not going to be required in perpetuity?
Later at the end of the meeting when I spoke again, I used the example of the trees in front of my house being in the City easement and thus while I was responsible for their health and on-going maintenance, the City retained jurisdiction over whether the trees could be removed or not. Since the trees in question are within the City easement/right of way along our main roadways here in Del Webb and there are no homes facing those roadways, my question then was why wouldn’t the City retain jurisdiction over them even though the Association was responsible for their maintenance. You were there — did you hear a rebuttal to that argument? I didn’t. So, while your subheading of “Trees treated differently at Del Webb” was quite accurate, a bit more column space was needed to accurately describe what to us is a very serious matter as presented to the City Council.