Letters – Citizen recognizes council member for contributions

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To the Editor:
I recently had the occasion to request assistance from Councilman Paul Gomez in removing a tree limb from a power line. I did this because I was unable to get the city or the cable company to remove the limb from the line.

During high winds in late April 2009, a large limb fell across a power line in the city utility easement behind my house. It

was Sunday, so I called the police department and the dispatcher said they would notify the electric department. At that time, I did not know what the line was for.

On the following Tuesday, as I recall, I called the city electric department and asked about the status of my call. They said they were not aware of it and would send someone out.

A city truck came by and I was told by the worker that the line belonged to the cable company, and they would have to remove the limb. I asked it they could notify the cable company, and he said yes.

On Friday, my wife called the cable company, and they said since it was on a city easement, the city was responsible.

A few days later, I called again and was told that two supervisors said they had a contract with the city to remove the limbs from their lines. I again called the city (public works this time) and was told that they would not remove the limb from the cable line.

I sent an email to Councilman Gomez requesting clarification as to who was responsible for removing limbs in city easements, if in fact this was a city easement. There are water and sewer lines also in the easement. Two days later, Councilman Gomez called me and said he had just gotten his computer back from repair and found my message.

I talked with him further about the situation with the line and also about the lack of response by the city for drainage problems in the easement. The following day, a crew from the city electric department arrived and removed the limb. Councilman Gomez advised me that the city did not have a contract with the cable company for tree limb removal from their lines. However, I understand that the city has a “gentleman’s agreement” with them that the city will remove limbs from cable lines if the limbs are also obstructing city electric lines.

I want to publicly thank Councilman Gomez for his quick response to my request and his clarification of this situation. It’s a shame that I had to go to such lengths to get a limb removed from a power line.

I understand from him that the property is an easement but that I can use it for my own use if I desire. It would be nice if all public employees responded to a citizen request in such a timely manner.

Thanks again Councilman Gomez.
Max Blanton
Lockhart

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