(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.