I’ve just taken a look into my crystal ball -
And sadly, tomorrow night, the City’s Rain Tree wins approvals that allow it to be moved, trimmed back, no longer the largest of it’s species.
The tree is a true giant, and is thought to be the largest of its’ species in the continental United States., because it only grows in Florida and Hawaii, and there isn’t one this large anywhere in Florida!
Furthermore, about thirty years ago the tree was specifically protected by the City Commission, because of its’ specialness, but those protections will be set aside about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday ( damn this crystal ball is good!)
Here’s the rest of the story –
First, the item won’t come up until late in the evening, and a good portion of the crowd that was there earlier to oppose the tree move has been worn down and gone home.
Then, Commissioner Romney Rogers will announce a “conflict” of interest and recuse himself from the vote. He will say that his law firm represents the Water Taxi, and because they will be somehow affiliated with the Marina Lofts project (the crystal ball is murky here), his firm will stand to gain, and therefore he cannot vote.
The new City Attorney, Cynthia Everett, will back him up. [ When Rogers runs for Mayor after Seiler leaves that post in 2018, no one will be able to say Rogers voted to move the Rain Tree ( just in case it croaks from the move].
big dead tree
Then there will be a raucous debate, with Commissioner Trantalis opposing the tree move.
Commissioners Dubose and Roberts won’t say too much, but will rely on information from the City’s Urban Forester (Gene Dempsey), who will say the tree could be relocated safely, and then Mayor Seiler rounds out the vote and it passes – 3 to 1.
With the tree out of the way, the Marina Lofts 950 unit rental building, that creatively looks like it was split by an earthquake, gets approvals to build, and the Rain Tree gets moved somewhere south of the building. (No word yet form the ball if the tree ultimately survives the move).
Now you don’t even have to watch!