Chatham Borough Set to Introduce Ordinance on Monday to Abolish Shade Tree Commission

Fight over this Scarlet Oak tree could lead to abolishment of Shade Tree Commission Credits: TAP Chatham
Two certified tree experts said the 175-year-old Scarlet Oak is healthy enough to live for 30 years. The mayor and council disagree. Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - The Borough of Chatham Council has put the introduction of an ordinance on its meeting agenda for Monday, Aug. 10, which will abolish the Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission. The STC was founded in 1909,

The  mayor and council have been at odds with the Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission over a 175-year-old Scarlet Oak located on at Lum field, near the parking lot of the train station.

A special meeting on the recommendation by the STC to treat and save the tree was held Thursday, Aug. 6, and the STC decided not to change its stance, despite threats from the mayor and council.

Sign Up for E-News

The STC has obtained reports from two certified tree experts that say the tree is healthy and can live another 30 years with treatment. The mayor and council are concerned with safety and the borough's liability should the tree fall. The tree is located on borough property. Last month, a 200-year-old tree in Summit fell on two parked cars.

By law, the STC has jurisdiction over tree removal. By abolishing the STC, the council regains control over whether the tree will be removed or not.

"This is what they threatened to do if we didn't change our recommendation," Patrick Carroll, chairman of the STC, said. "It's disappointing the mayor and council have decided to go down this path. We look forward to what they have to say at the Aug. 10  meeting. 

"At the (special) meeting Alida Kass said they were going to have discussions. I don't know if there is anything we can do. I don't agree with it whatsoever."

Below is the first reading of the ordinance from the agenda. The public hearing and adoption of the ordinance would be Sept. 14.

"AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF CHATHAM, COUNTY OF MORRIS, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, REPEALING CHAPTER 63 OF THE BOROUGH CODE AND ABOLISHING THE SHADE TREE COMMISSION OF THE BOROUGH OF CHATHAM Council Member Kass explains the purpose of the Ordinance and moves for introduction on First Reading. Council Member Kass reads: WHEREAS, the above Ordinance was introduced and read by title at this Council meeting held on August 10, 2015. __ 15 C 08-07-2015 BE IT RESOLVED, that at the Council meeting to be held on September 14, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. prevailing time, at the Borough Hall, the Chatham Borough Council will further consider this Ordinance for a second reading, public hearing and final passage; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk is hereby requested to publish the proper notice thereof, including this Ordinance, post the Ordinance on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building and make copies available to members of the general public. And I do so move."


TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Sun, May 20, 2:00 PM

Chatham Township Municipal Building, Chatham

A Tour of Chatham Township and Green Village

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Hartley Farms Polo Field, Morristown

Great Swamp Great Music Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Mike Czech – One of Chatham’s Hidden Gems….

On a warm sunny day, back in 2008, at Southern Boulevard Elementary School stood a very tall man (6.5” to be exact!), soft-spoken, warm and friendly as he was surrounded by a whole group of children running around him (at his knees).

His name was Mike Czech and he was teaching the kids how to play a game on the open court.   I introduced myself to help assist him as a fellow ...

'Thank You' to the Chatham Borough Department of Public Works and Volunteers

May 7, 2018

To the Editor:

My sincere thanks to Chatham Borough Department of Public Works, and everyone who came out and planted at Shepard Kollock trail this past Saturday! It was amazing to have so many volunteers on hand to plant trees and shrubs. Whether you could only stay for a short time, or if you stayed with us until the very end – everyone’s hard work truly made a difference.

One ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Residents of Chatham to Receive Second Fundraising Letter Asking for Their Support of the Chatham Emergency Squad

May 20, 2018

During the week of May 20, a follow-up letter seeking donations to the Chatham Emergency Squad (CES) will be sent to more than 6,000 Chatham residents, businesses, religious and community organizations. Letters will not be sent to individuals, businesses, and organizations who have lent their support with the first mailing, issued in January 2018.

The Chatham Emergency Squad is an ...