By ERWIN CHLANDA
A task force of seven Town Council employees including three rangers, apparently armed, breaching an undertaking brokered by the Ombudsman, invaded Cassia Court on Friday to remove a very small tree planted on the verge.
Resident Ralph Folds, the other party, says the council also breached an agreement to remove yellow no-parking lines (they were put back), and took action about a tea tree branch (pictured behind one of the rangers) without giving prior notice to him.
The Ombudsman wrote to Mr Folds on May 21 last year with a summary of agreements, and saying: “I am pleased that both Parties were able to discuss and resolve the issues. Considering the matter is now resolved, I will be closing the complaints lodged with this Office.”
All that has now been turned on its head by the council, according to Mr Folds, despite clear understandings by the Ombudsman and Mr Folds.
Bahareh Jaber, Senior Investigation Officer, wrote: “As agreed by both parties, Mr Folds will cut back the Tea Tree so that it appears neat and attractive … not necessarily right to the property line but acceptable to [the council].
“The Town Council has agreed to remove the yellow lines on the street and send a letter to all of the residents of the court to be mindful of the Garbage collection day and not obstruct the truck on that day.”
According to Mr Jaber, ranger manager at the time, Kevin Everett, “advised that the reason behind the marking of the yellow line was to assist the collection of Rubbish bins on pickup day. After seeing the lines, [the council has] agreed that it is too harsh on the residents and that the lines will be removed.”
The Ombudsman wrote: “Council have agreed to allow the small tree to remain where it is.”
Council “advises that the small tree is not creating an issue and being in a quiet court location should not create any future issues. ASTC advised that it is in [character] with the rest of the court as another residents has a neat little row of plants as well.
“ASTC suggested, that if this was a main street of Alice Springs with a high amount of traffic it would be different, however there are only three driveways in the bulb of the court. The tree will be monitored by ASTC for the future and any concerns will be brought to the attention of Mr Folds.”
The Alice Springs News is inviting the Town Council to comment.