Letter: Objects to tree cutting moratorium

August 15, 2010 3:21:00 AM

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I attended the Aug. 3, alderman meeting to state my objection to a six-month moratorium on cutting certain trees in the city of Starkville. I felt this ordinance would constitute government infringement upon the ownership rights of Starkville residents who have trees on their property. 

 

In response to Mr. Dumas'' Aug. 11 article: First I would like to take issue with his statement there are many unsightly areas in our community. I have always thought of Starkville as a beautiful town, but, thinking I may have missed something, I drove around to look. I found Main Street and Greensboro to be beautiful and clean. Hwy. 12 consists of many strip malls (I have never considered them to be a bad thing myself) but they are clean and neat. Many have trees, shrubs and flowers. Parts of 182 leave something to be desired, but they are not slum areas. They could use some cleaning up. The residential areas (old and new) were full of trees, shrubs and flowers showing great pride in ownership. I came back still thinking that Starkville is a beautiful town. 

 

People buy property for several reasons but mainly because it is the "American dream" to own your own home. You work hard and save in order to do this. You can paint the house or walls whatever color you want, put holes in the walls to hang pictures and landscape the yard however you wish. With this ordinance the city wants to tell us we cannot cut a tree 16 inches in diameter or larger without the tree committee''s approval.  

 

I love trees and would never cut one down just for the sake of cutting it down but that is the question. Since this is our personal property we bought and pay taxes on does the city have the right to tell us we cannot cut down a tree without going through them? 

 

Mr. Dumas stated "This isn''t a question of nostalgia, partisan politics, or personal freedoms; it is a question of realizing that change is needed to produce a better community and that change includes levels of regulation that are above the anything-goes concept of the past."  

 

If this is not about personal freedoms I do not know what it is about. The city government regulating city property is one thing, personal property is another! One freedom taken will be followed by another. 

 

One thing I do agree with Mr. Dumas about is his quote of Margaret Mead at the end of his article. "Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  

 

I am not sure about the world but I know it can our country. 

 

Jane Vemer 

 

Starkville