Bartlett Mayor Issues MLGW Complaint On City Letterhead

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(Bartlett) Some are questioning whether the mayor of Bartlett went too far in his personal beef with Memphis Light Gas and Water.

He is not happy about how MLGW contractors trim trees, not just at his home, but all over Bartlett.

He is accusing the utility of butchering the trees.

However, some are questioning whether it appropriate for him to issue an official news release on city stationery urging citizens to take action.

Mayor McDonald said, in an effort to clear power lines, MLGW contractors are destroying trees.

He said this is a citywide problem, one that justifies a very public statement, both in the form of a release and on social media.

McDonald said he does not regret using city letterhead to call out the contractors on their tree trimming work.

"I'm the mayor of the city! They have hurt Bartlett," he said. "Why would I write them on my own personal letterhead to tell them, as mayor of the city, this is terrible?"

Customers can call if a tree limb is getting in the way of power lines.

This all started when McDonald called to have his own trees cut and was not happy with the response time.

The mayor said he decided to see if others were having problems. What he found were trees cut almost in half to make room for power lines.

One home owner, Rebecca Gibson, said she was furious when she saw what the contractors had done to her tree.

"I guess we're going to have to cut it down, because it's too one-sided," she said.

In the press release on city letterhead, McDonald accuses MLGW contractors of butchering trees.

Some said he should have just contacted them himself if he had a problem.

Misty Roberts said, "He should do it himself. Just because he's the mayor doesn't make it where he can call the shots however he wants to."

Gibson said she is grateful the mayor went out on a limb.

"I'm just glad he's upset about this," she said. "This is his city, and it is our city."

However, Roberts thinks the real root of this matter is personal. "

They think they have the power to do whatever they want to, because they're the mayor."

McDonald said any personal matter he had with MLGW was over before the press release went out, and he will continue to fight for Bartlett residents.

"It's personal, because I'm the mayor of Bartlett, and I love Bartlett," he said. "So, yes it is personal, but it's not about my yard. It's about these good citizens."

In a statement MLGW's CEO said he personally came to the mayor's yard, and the trees only needed minimal trimming.

He said the work on other trees in Bartlett are necessary to clear power lines.


  • dada

    Mayor McDonald telling like it is. MLGW sloppy unsupervised, used to provide #1 service not anymore! Hand Salute Mr. Mayor!

  • Dr. JohnS

    I have seen the work of the contractors, they are correct the trees look terrible with only one half of the tree standing. Now my question is, which came first the tree planting or the electric lines?

  • cowboydadd1988

    OK So how many here are tree trimmers?? I am sure these people know what they are doing. As a Bartlett resident, I dont need to be embarrassed by our Mayor calling out professionals for doing their job. Again. I am sure they know what they are doing.

    • Karen

      These obviously are poorly trained tree trimmers that MLG&W uses…probably paid minimum wage and just
      Don’t care. It’s terrible how they butchered the trees on my street…:-(7

    • The Real Nonya

      The guys cutting the trees are are illegals hired for minimum wage. Far from being anywhere near a professional.

      I stopped to tell one of the Asplund workers holding a sign that I couldn’t not see him because he was wearing dark clothes and standing in the shade and he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) speak a word of English.

  • Bill

    Misty Roberts you are a nut! I do not see how the mayor is doing whatever he wants. He is the MAYOR of a city and expressing his displeasure with what the idiots that MLGW hired did to HIS trees and the trees of other residents of his city. Sounds to me like he is doing his job!!!!!!! Thank you mayor!!!!!

  • candi

    I don’t understand why these rural areas of less than 100k population have mayors anyway….a waste of taxpayer s money arent there more important issues to concentrate on? These ignorant southerners are so childish abouttthings

    • langor1

      Talk about ignorant, you obviously don’t know the difference between rural and suburban, incorporated and unincorporated. Bartlett is incorporated, which is why it has it’s own government and isn’t part of its’ poorly managed neighbor Memphis.

  • Karen

    Totally agree with him!! They butchered my tree as well
    As others last summer while I was at work. I discovered it after coming home on my lunch break. I managed to call my neighbor and tell him they were about to attack his and he was able to get home in time to stop his from being clobbered by them! They literally cut half my tree off leaving it completely lopsided!

    • Memphis Pride

      If a storm came along abd broke off one of the limbs onto the power line and put the city in the dark you all would be complaining about that too. You guys don’t have a utility company. it is MEMPHIS LIGHTS GAS AND WATER. ( MLGW). I would have tought that the Mayor would have learned when King willie was Mayor and no one showed up to his meeting, he turn the water off on you guys. So don’t let history repeat itself.

    • Memphis Pride

      If a storm came along and broke off one of the limbs onto the power line and put the city in the dark you all would be complaining about that too. You guys don’t have a utility company. It is MEMPHIS LIGHTS GAS AND WATER. ( MLGW). I would have tought that the Mayor would have learned when King Willie was Mayor and no one showed up to his meeting, he turn the water off on you guys. So don’t let history repeat itself.

  • langor1

    Keep up the good work Mayor McDonald. By challenging shoddy, defacing work like, you help keep the city nice.

  • Ric

    Maybe they used his beloved sword to trim the trees. Regardless, looks like he’s out on a limb on this one. Wait a minute, he doesn’t have any limbs to stand on….

    Only idiots place trees near power lines then complain…….

  • Lucy

    It’s not really fair for anyone to comment on this unless they have driven through Bartlett this week and seen the condition of the trees. I understand that trimming is necessary, but the ones on Germantown Rd. had several feet chopped off. It was overkill and looks awful.

  • sue

    MLGW is an abusive power company that knows it doesn’t have to answer to anyone. Ever needed to lodge a complaint against them?! There is no one to call and complain to! Ever deal with their “customer service”? The employees at MLGW are hateful and unhelpful.

  • Tammy

    Why would he not complain on a City Letterhead, is he not a Mayor of the city? That is a very ignorant heading to this article. Bartlett has signs everywhere stating they are the city of trees. So why would the butchering of the tree’s not be a issue for a Mayor who loves his city. We all Know MLGW is a inappropriate monopoly. Are we now at a place we cannot complain about or to the establishment that has caused this inappropriate treating of trees? Good job to the Mayor for standing his ground on what he believes!!!

  • Long Gone

    If it’s effecting property values he has every right to complain. If they’re just chopping off one side. They need to be held responsible, if the wind blow the tree over causing damage

  • Caroline

    Maybe we need to withdraw from Memphis utilities like we withdrew from Memphis schools. If nothing else, this raises awareness about many other utility options that citizens and maybe the city could look into. MLGW and all big city utility companies are monopolies and are also cash cows. Wonder what happens to MLGW profits if people started using solar panes?

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