Milwaukie resident: Park destruction disregarded citizen efforts
As much as I appreciate Milwaukie engineer Steve Adams' interpretation of the importance of tree code, it is impossible to imagine that three centennial trees were removed and the sole people responsible for protecting them, the city of Milwaukie, didn't at least lay out fencing to stop it.
This is unfortunately a highlight of whoops, I did it again, which is far too convenient of an excuse. I believe the Planning Commission expected that area to remain a park, out of bounds of any developer entering that space.
Maybe my recollection is incorrect, or maybe the city does not care, but personally, this is a disgrace. No tree code will protect the residents against our city engineer or Planning Department not doing their job and explaining on site that the area is not to be touched.
I want city staff to understand I really appreciate their hard work and effort for citizens each and every day. I do not expect anyone to be perfect; I guess I just expect some sense of meaning and warmth to protect the things we, the residents, deem valuable.
I have been on a Milwaukie board or a commission for over 10 years. When you are involved that long, you work hard to achieve certain things. It is very hard to welcome changes to those achievements.
The Hector Campbell Neighborhood District Association worked extremely hard and spent their funds to establish the Triangle Park site. Our mayor, city engineer and planning manager may not have been involved or employed by the city then. I personally know how hard, how much dedication and how much energy it takes to create change, to develop an idea, to energize a coalition, to plead, beg and work for allowance, to finally complete a project you have been dedicated to for years just to have one bulldozer ruin it all.
That is where my true frustration lies, the loss of the hard work of really well-intentioned residents, which was disregarded before the bulldozer was on site.
Greg Hemer is a Milwaukie resident and longtime volunteer for the city.
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