Atlanta City Council Discussion on Starting an Independent Audit on the Arborist Division of the Bureau of Buildings

As the Creative Loafing article asks, Why Was Atlanta Arborist Tom Coffin Fired?

Tom Coffin has tirelessly fought to save Atlanta’s trees.  Why was he fired?  The Atlanta City Council meeting involves beginning an independent audit of the Arborist Division of the Bureau of Buildings.

Some friends of ours have been fighting to preserve an 170-180 year old oak, believed to be the largest and oldest Southern Red Oak in the metro area, for several years now.  We and others had endeavored to provide some assistance by holding a couple benefits.   Shortly after Tom Coffin was fired, the developer came in and illegally bulldozed the roots of the tree, going against a standing court order that the excavation must be done by air spade.  Tom Coffin had placed a stop work order but Paul Lekowicz had lifted it in spite of the fact that none of the code violations that caused the stop work order had been addressed.  Paul said, “It looks OK to me.” Leigh Bielenberg gives her testimony on this in this clip of the meeting.

I excerpted this video from a two and a half hour long Atlanta City Council Video.  It runs about 45 minutes long.  I tried a number of times to upload it in 10 minute segments on Youtube but Youtube would never finish uploading, so I dropped the quality even lower (it had already degraded some with conversion from a wmv file to avi to mov) and have placed the 45 minute segment here in Flash.

Update: I have since excerpted Leigh’s testimony before the Atlanta City Council. It may be viewed here.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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