Thursday, April 30, 2009

Safety or sunshine? Community divided on answer for trees around public pool; Austin, TX; 4/29/09

Politics and PR at play in tree debate Austin American-Statesman - Austin,TX,USA
It was clear at the city parks board meeting last night that the fate of 29 trees at Barton Springs Pool will likely come down to politics and public relations.
Is new Parks Director Sara Hensley, who’s been on the job less than a year, capable of selling such an unpopular idea — cutting down trees that she says pose a safety risk — to the public? And is there the political will among City Council members, who will probably have the final say, to clear-cut the tree canopy at Austin’s iconic swimming hole?
The answers to both questions are far from certain, given the angry crowds that have shown up at the two out of four public meetings held so far on the issue. Hensley was calm and personable at both, but looked a little shell-shocked by the crash course in Austin’s so-called “terminal democracy.”

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