There is at best an uneasy truce between KUB and Knoxville’s former Mayor Victor Ashe in the ongoing battle over trimming trees in his yard. After a personal inspection of the situation by KUB chief Mintha Roach, three small trees were removed and others were trimmed. The magnolia trees planted by Ashe’s mother Martha were spared, except for a slight trim.
Ashe is not happy with the result, “just not as upset as I originally was.”
Ashe is serving a one-year term as the interim president of the Clean Water Network. That’s the group that sued KUB some years back to force the utility to separate storm water from waste water, a rather expensive upgrade to the system. The group is about to force Chattanooga’s utility to do the same.
The tree-trimming fracas has resulted in a citizens’ panel that has made recommendations to KUB on improving its tree-trimming operations. Ashe argues that “less informed citizens might be mistreated” without safeguards and an appeals process. (For more on the panel’s recommendations, see page 12.)