Somerville’s Day After Christmas Tree Crisis

By Judy Locchi Jacobs

Oh Christmas Tree…. Oh Christmas Tree… why won’t the city pick you up because they want to fine instead…..this story is ongoing. I had to rush home after discovering they are fining residents who put their trees out today and this week.

There was a notice that went out but I can’t locate it on my email as I’m also unfortunately signed up for their marathon robo-announcements most of which are created to generate profits— road races, booze, art and whatever Fests are held.

My point is we never had to worry about our Christmas trees put out after Christmas— now there is a schedule and if it’s on the sidewalk on the wrong day they will fine homeowners even if they trees belong to tenants.

So beware and contact your aldermen to get something in writing or post here for all to see.


3 thoughts on “Somerville’s Day After Christmas Tree Crisis”

  1. Also, one of the alderman said that the trees were going to be picked up starting January 7th, and pick up of trees was late this year and why the confusion. So if you get a ticket for leaving your tree on the sidewalk be sure to locate the posting on the city’s website that states trees will be picked up in December and January and you should be covered. One alderman said they will address this with the 311 director since they obviously relayed incorrect information. We shouldn’t have to be administrators for the city and point out their mistakes. We are paying employees to do that with our taxes. I worked over 25 years in customer service supporting high level administrators. They need to get with the program and stop jerking residents around. Last month, one of their traffic ticketers left a $50 ticket on my windshield during a street sweeping day. I moved my car out of my driveway for my contractor who asked the ticketer not to leave me a ticket and they refused. I paid the ticket after calling city hall because I was told I had to pay regardless. There were three trucks belonging to my contractor on the same side where my car was parked and that ticket should have been waived. My contractor needed my driveway and there was nowhere else to park. It’s a matter of principle that this city ensure the rules apply to everyone. Many of us know that’s not the case. The very least they can do is make sure their employees all have the right information before they launch a panic on wrongfully ticketeding homeowners, because whether or not the tree belongs to them, (could be their tenant), the homeowner is required to pay the fine.

  2. Thank you for sharing. After all the calling and writing to the aldermen yesterday, they admit it was posted on the city’s website that the trees would be picked up in December and January. Hence, December was yesterday and January’s trash pick up resumes tomorrow for other wards. The issue is that when you call city hall, you get a different answer than what is posted on the website. I saw 13 trees laying on the sidewalk and off the curb yesterday in Ward 7, Monday being our trash day. I was told by the 311 operator I would be subject to a fine if I did not move my tree off the sidewalk because it was obstructing the path fr pedestrians. Yet, the city failed to remove cut branches from an adjacent sidewalk for three weeks last month, until I called to report it. The city worker I contacted who is always professional and competent took care of it as a truck was sent the following day to remove a pile of cut branches so pedestrians could get by without having to walk in the street. My overall point is the lack of consistency when trying to address what would appear to be a simple clarification of information. It was all a big waste of time and fear mongering by two city workers who didn’t have the correct information, and was rude. But that’s no surprise as many are obnoxious and mean spirited. My only concern was to alert residents so they could avoid ticketing if in fact that was another trick like they pulled on snowstorms that never were. Residents need to guard themselves against being fined, because there are hidden traps everywhere and it’s not much to ask that they post accurate information and keep city personnel on the same page.

  3. Waiting until trash day to put your tree out seems like kind of a no-brainer, given how ticket crazy the city is. The real issue here is that I don’t think I’ve ever had the city actually pick my tree up on trash day – usually takes days, once or twice weeks – for them to actually take it. If indeed they intend to ticket me after they fail to take my tree then there’s gonna be words…

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