Regrowing the Shade Tree Commission
Council voted unanimously to have Solicitor Charles Garner draft the new Shade Tree ordinance.
The matter of funding was also discussed. 5th Ward Councilor Dan Weand raised the issue of the $104,970 that the Borough contributed to Trees, Inc., the 501(c)(3) non-profit operated by Pottstown School Board member Thomas Hylton, over a five-year period from 2003-2007. To which Solicitor Garner replied that, if interested, Council could pursue getting that money back.
While the Shade Tree Commission, currently chaired by Hylton, continually claims to have no funds to assist Pottstown taxpayers in the maintenance of street trees, Trees, Inc. shows net assets of $96,634 according to the non-profit’s 2009 IRS Form 990.
When you visit the Borough of Pottstown’s website and select the link to the Shade Tree Commission, a link takes you to the Trees, Inc. website. And the only available meeting minutes posted on the Borough’s website are over two years old. It’s very non-customer friendly…pretty much the modus operandi of the Shade Tree Commission itself.
It was refreshing to read the article in today’s Mercury on the Phoenixville Shade Tree Commission.
If you missed it, here it is:
Unlike the Pottstown Shade Tree Commission, Phoenixville’s Commission meets on a monthly basis, with their Annual Report available on the Borough’s website as well as their monthly meeting minutes:
Phoenixville also has helpful information available to the taxpayers it serves:
Thank you Pottstown Borough Council for starting the process of putting in place a new and improved Shade Tree Commission! It’s time to reclaim our underutilized taxpayer funds and start putting it to good use throughout the Borough.
It’s so nice to see progress in action! We’re looking forward to the new changes!
NOTE: After we published this post, we received some very interesting information we’d like to share with our readers. Below are the Borough of Pottstown ledger figures for Trees, Inc. from the period of January 2003 to December 2009. That’s a lot of money coming and going isn’t it folks?