TREE TROOPERS’ AXE TO GRIND
City plays judge, jury, executioner
We might want to call this a Made at City Hall episode of Law and Order.
Etobicoke resident Joe Pelech is the felon.
The alleged victims are three healthy private trees (those belonging to Pelech) and one wimpy looking city tree.
In this episode, Pelech, a financial advisor, has been tried, convicted and fined $2,797.24 by the city’s tree police without a chance to even give his side of the story. His crimes?
The tree cops were blooming upset, it seems, that Pelech’s landscaper re-graded, landscaped and installed a fence around his backyard this summer without putting proper tree protection hoarding around the trees — accusing him of scraping the bark and roots of the trees.
Proving that City Hall can get a wiggle on when cash is involved, he received a detailed two-page letter on June 15 — a mere two days after a tree cop visited his home. That letter lists his crimes and orders him to pay $699.31 for each tree they say he damaged.
“It’s just ridiculous,” noting he already paid $35,000 in the duplicate land transfer tax just a year ago when he bought the home.
“It’s borderline criminal (how I’ve been treated) ... They issue you a fee that you can’t dispute (and) nobody wants to talk to you about,” he added, confirming he has not paid the fine.
Joe Pelech has been fined nearly $3,000 by the City of Toronto for not providing enough protection for his trees.