The reason our reader was interested in the smoking policy is captured in the third photo from the top. If you look closely there is one of Ms. Levin's employees smoking while working in a city vehicle, using a chainsaw, elevated adjacent to power lines. Obviously this is a violation of city policy and safety requirements for operating near power lines and places both the public and other city employees at serious risk of injury, the cost of which would be footed by taxpayers due to the city's negligence in managing its employees.
In the next several blogs we will be highlighting the breakdowns experienced by our reader including:
- The city's failure to meet the substantive and procedural requirements of its own tree ordinance,
- The city's failure to adequately train its staff on using basic safety measures when removing trees,
- The city's failure to adequately provide environmental clearance under CEQA for removing 1,000 plus trees each year (a number provided by Ms. Levin),
- The city's failure to meet the requirements of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to provide trained biologists to ensure compliance with the Act,
- The city's failure to maintain adequate records,
- The city's failure to properly train and supervise its staff, and
- The city's failure to be responsive to legitimate concerns of the public.
We Fight Blight is interested in this issue because street trees are so vital to improving the quality of life in our hardened, blighted urban environment. Mismanagement of city resources does not serve the interests of the city particularly when it comes at the expense of police officers or the uneccessary removal of city trees.