One of three candidates for mayor of Brentwood, so far, have agreed to take part in a League of Women Voters (LWV) forum. Louise Charboneau, the first to file, said on Tuesday she would participate. Incumbent Chris Thornton hasn’t responded immediately to an email. Candidate, Barbara Clements didn’t supply a phone number or email address on her declaration of candidacy; she will receive a request to participate at her home address. The tentative date is March 13 or 14.
As of Tuesday afternoon three candidates have filed to run for mayor of Brentwood (2-yer term) in April 2017. All are well-known. Louise Charboneau, filed last week. On the last day to file — Tuesday, Jan. 17 — incumbent Christopher Thornton, and Barbara Clements, in that order, have also filed.
The developer of a 6-story, 80-unit apartment building at the northwest corner of Manchester and Hanley roads in Brentwood is asking for a tax abatement due to “extraordinary site development costs” according to a city resolution the board of aldermen will consider at the board of aldermen meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The aldermen will consider two options. Both require the area to be blighted, resulting in up to 70 percent tax abatement for 10 years to the developer, Gary Hassenflu. The amount of the real property tax abatement would be approximately $445,000.
Dec. 17 was the first day for candidates to file to run for office in Brentwood. Until today no one had filed for mayor — Wednesday morning Louise R. Charboneau, of 8830 Madge Avenue, became the first. Her name is on the updated sheet taped to the city clerk’s office. Charboneau has been attending most meetings of the board of aldermen, and many other city boards and commissions for several years as a resident.
The subject of trees to be removed by the city came up several times in the Brentwood Board of Aldermen on Tuesday. On Dec. 23 the city removed a resident’s oak tree on Urban Avenue without notifying him, which upset him. The resident, Doug Gruder, told the aldermen in the meeting that cutting down the 120-year-old oak (by his estimation) from his yard was “wrong and criminal”. He asked if a title search had been done to determine if the tree was in the city right of way.
The Brentwood Parks and Recreation Department provided an update on city Resolution #1058, regarding city trees to be removed in early 2017, according to a post on the city website on Tuesday. See the plan to remove city trees. Davey Resources Group completed a tree management plan for the city in 2014, “in an effort to promote and preserve the City of Brentwood’s urban forest and improve the management of public trees.” The plan identified 99 city-owned trees that were recommended for removal. Of those 99 trees, 68 remain.
A week after a Brentwood resident’s mature oak tree on Urban Avenue was removed without notice to him, the city of Brentwood has posted a notification on a tree on Rosalie Avenue that it’s due for removal. The stump of a recently removed tree — at ground level — was nearby. At a meeting following the removal of the oak with the resident, city staff members and elected officials, it was determined that any future trees to be removed would be well-marked. No list of other trees to come down could be found on the Brentwood city website.
As of Thursday, Dec. 29, the incumbent aldermen for each of the four Brentwood wards, whose terms expire in April, have filed to run for another term. An elected official not filed (Dec. 17 was the first day), is Mayor Chris Thornton. When asked in city hall on Thursday, he was noncommittal; he said he hasn’t made a public statement.
In an email to 40 South with the subject line, My Rebuttal To Bola Akande, Doug Gruder, whose oak was removed by the city on Friday, has responded to the city administrator’s report of the meeting on Tuesday between Gruder, city staff members and elected officials. His first comment is a complaint that Akande misspelled his last name — it’s since been corrected. Among other items, Gruder says he hasn’t received the arborist report on the tree, which he had requested, and that he will make his own determination if the tree was in the city easement/right of way. Brentwood resident livid after city cuts down oak
Aldermen report on meeting with resident whose oak was removed by city
City statement on removal of resident’s oak
City offers no details on oak removal; owner posts ‘no trespassing’
Gruder’s comments: (as before, all capitalizations are Gruder’s)
Readers, please take note that Bola Akande, after all that has happened, has not even gotten the spelling of my last name correctly even after receiving multiple emails from as well as reading all of the articles that have come out of the paper. I find that to be an insult to the injury I have already sustained from their office!
Doug Gruder, the Brentwood resident on Urban Avenue whose approximately 120-year-old oak was removed by the city on Friday, met with his ward 2 aldermen (Brandon Wegge and Sunny Sims), the city administrator and city arborist on Tuesday. Wegge sent this statement from the meeting to 40 South — from Sims and him — to 40 South that afternoon. First thing they did was apologize to the resident, Doug Gruder. City Administrator Bola Akande also made a statement on the meeting. Wegge and Sims’ statement:
Note: This response is from Sunny Sims and Brandon Wegge – Ward 2 Aldermen
Our sincere apologies to Doug- no resident should have to come home to this kind of shock, further exacerbated by it being over the Holiday break.
Doug Gruder, who had an oak tree removed from his yard on Friday with no notification to him, met Tuesday with his aldermen (ward 2) and city staff members. Gruder was told in the meeting that the city had determined that his tree was in poor health and posed a liability for the city, also that it was in a city easement. Everyone in the meeting agreed that a breakdown in communication caused Gruder to be in the dark about the decision. Gruder’s aldermen, Brandon Wegge and Sunny Sims also had a report from the meeting. Akande emailed the following report to 40 South:
Alderpersons Brandon Wegge and Sunny Sims, Peter Van Linn, Parks Operations Superintendent and I met with Doug Gruder today for approximately two hours in the City Administrator’s office.