I attended the February 3 gathering on the Plaza held by Mayor Agrimonti, discussing the City Council decision to remove the Gingko tree on the northeast corner due to the mess it creates two months a year.
Participants included current and former city council and committee members, current and former city employees, and people well educated on the subject. Valid questions were asked for which the mayor did not have answers, and new information provided to her. Dave Chavoya, retired parks superintendent who tended the Plaza grounds for over 36 years, described how he managed the dropped fruit. It required less than half an hour per day.
This input would have been valuable before the council vote. While the proposition to remove trees was an agenda item, it was not included in the meeting announcement on the City of Sonoma website or Facebook page. Anyone in this town knows that the proposed destruction of three healthy, highly visible trees on the Plaza would generate great interest. Why wasn’t this given top billing?
The plan went through a bureaucratic process before arriving at the council, and the other two trees on the chopping block were given a stay of execution – for now. Saturday’s discussion suggests that diligent clean-up efforts are one viable solution to be considered more fully. A volunteer corps could even take some of the burden off park employees. I hope the imminent removal of this tree will be halted while other alternatives are explored.
Carol Allison, Sonoma