Earlier today, we published a story on Claycord saying PG&E was temporarily suspending a plan to cut down thousands of trees over its gas pipeline until company officials are able to meet with city leaders from Walnut Creek, Concord & Martinez, and explore alternatives.
Although both websites for the City of Concord & Walnut Creek say PG&E has suspended the plans, one Concord City Councilman says that’s not the entire story.
“The current position of PG&E in Concord is that they are holding off on PUBLIC lands but are going full speed ahead on private owners. They have secured *according to their spokesman on Monday, an agreement with 141 out of 151 property owners to chop down their trees etc. (In fact according to one relayed message they cut down the wrong tree in one case)”, according to Concord City Councilman Edi Birsan.
“They are pushing ahead on these and have been using some questionable scare and power play tactics”, Birsan said.
“According to the spokesman, if you have a prior agreement and you are having second thoughts….as I would urge ALL to do, notify them that you have reconsidered their proposal and reject it so that you can be more aware of the circumstances and the alternatives to tree cutting that really do exist”, Birsan said.
“There are also property values and community benefits that should be considered here which is one reason we have a tree ordinance in the first place”, according to Birsan.
On Thursday, Concord Mayor Tim Grayson sent out a message to Concord residents, saying “You may have heard on the news that PG&E wants to cut down 730 trees in Concord (3,000 trees in Contra Costa County) without notice to the City of Concord or private citizens. What happened in San Bruno was a welding issue, not a root problem – Concord citizens shouldn’t be penalized by losing the beautiful trees on their property. We have started legal proceedings to stop PG&E. If a representative of PG&E knocks on your door, you do not have to let them into your backyard. Please tell the representative that you received this email from the Mayor and feel free to email or call me if there is a problem. Thank you, Tim Grayson, Mayor of Concord, TimGrayson@ConcordMayor.com“
The City of Concord has also placed an item on the agenda for Tuesday night’s Concord City Council meeting, demanding that PG&E refrain from all tree removal activities in the City of Concord until certain conditions have been met.