Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe issued the following statement today:
I have asked for a temporary delay in the removal of 15 trees along the entrance to Longshore Club Park.
Since this is a new issue for me and my administration, Westport tree warden Bruce Lindsay will prepare for my review a written report outlining his analysis and confirming his recommendation that the trees be removed.
I have the utmost confidence in, and respect for, Mr. Lindsay, who recently came to Westport with excellent credentials in this field. However, in view of the importance of this issue and the discussion which it has generated, I have requested that Mr. Lindsay temporarily delay the tree removal and to prepare this report.
Upon receipt and analysis of the report, which of course will be shared with the public, I will determine the appropriate next steps. It is anticipated that a public meeting will be held to review the Tree Warden’s analysis and recommendations.
I should note that the Longshore trees have been the topic of much analysis and planning by the Town for many years. Twenty years ago, new trees were planted by the Parks and Recreation Department in anticipation of the replacement need. There are now approximately 75 younger and healthier trees lining the Longshore entrance. Most recently, in September 2013, Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy brought this matter to the Parks and Recreation Commission, which had a public meeting to discuss the need for the tree removal.
I look forward to receiving Mr. Lindsay’s report soon and sharing it with the public.