Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tree Service

Last week I saw a tree cutting service cutting trees at my neighbor’s house across the street. Today (January 31, 2017) around 2:30 pm I was driving up the mountain town road and saw a large truck completely in my driveway blocking my way onto my driveway. I rolled my window down and told the truck and the people to get off my property and they moved the truck on to the town road. I parked my car at the end of the driveway to block them from coming back on. I got out and a man closest to me walked over. I asked what they were doing on my property and the man said they were cutting trees and branches. I asked why I wasn’t informed before they started and the man said it was up to the town to inform me. I then asked if the man was a supervisor and he said he was the owner. I asked him what company he was the owner of and he told me. I told him that since none of them had my permission to be on my property and it wasn’t an emergency that had to leave my property. I pointed to the driveway and all the messed-up hardpack and showed it to the man who said that all they needed was a “rake” to fix it. I told him they only had my permission to fix the mess they made and then had to leave my property. I told him that since I hadn’t received written notice of the work and it wasn’t an emergency that his company did not have my permission to do anything on my property and to leave.

I then went into the house and called my town police's non-emergency number and the dispatcher said that the police weren’t working that day and that he would transfer me to the State Police. The female dispatcher at the State Police said that someone would be there in “a few minutes.” While waiting for the police I called the Town Clerk’s office and asked them about  the work and lack of notice and the clerk said I should speak with the Town Selectboard’s Office so I called them. I told them what was going on and they said it has nothing to do with the town. After waiting around 1 ½ hours with no police yet I called the town police's non-emergency number again since they were the ones who transferred me to the State Police in the first place. I said I had been waiting nearly 2 hours and was transferred to the State Police. The State Police dispatcher said that someone was on the way. I asked how long they would be as the first dispatcher said it would be “a few minutes” and more than a few minutes had passed. He said that it wasn’t 2 hours and that someone would be there. I then called the Town Selectbord’s Office  again and asked what the hours for the town police were. She said it varied and that we only had 2 officers (the third patrolman on the town website just answers phones) and that the officers aren’t always on and are sometimes in court. I told her it was nice knowing that we couldn’t rely on the police when we need them.

About 10 minutes from that call the State Police came. The officer  said he was coming from 2 hours away  said he had spoken with the tree service  down the road and that they were contracted by the Electric Co-Op to do the work. He said I should call the Electric Co-Op and find out what was going on. I asked what I could do in the future if Tree Service  (or anyone else) tried to come onto my property without prior permission and it wasn’t an emergency and he said I should put up a “Do Not Trespass” sign on my property. I then asked the officer about me verbally telling the owner today that they weren’t allowed on my property and he said that the verbal statement was the same as a sign and that from now on they couldn’t come onto my property without prior notice or a police escort. I asked if that would be in a report that I said the Tree Service wasn’t allowed on my property and he said it would go into his report. He also said I could bring the Tree Service to small claims court about the driveway if I wanted. I had asked the officer about the workers getting hurt on my property (without my permission) and he said he didn’t think anything could come of it.

At 4:30 pm (January 31, 2017) I called the Electric Co-Op and the woman there said she would have their arborist for my region call me. I asked her to make a note on my account that I did not give permission for the Tree Service or any contractor or the   Electric Co-Op to come onto my property to do any work unless I was given prior notice or they had a police escort. She said she would note that. 
The arborist from the Electric Co-Op. He left a message on my machine: I called him back and left a message. On January 31, 2017 at 5:48 pm he called me back. He said they sent an automated message in July 2016 that work would be going on and that message meant I needed to opt-in to being given 2 week prior notice. I said that was “BS” and was giving him notice (as the State Police told me to do) and that I had given notice to the Tree Service and the customer service woman at the Electric Co-Op that as of right now none of the Electric Co-Op employees, the Tree Service or any other contractors used by the Electric Co-Op have my permission to be on my property. They can come on my property only with a police escort. He kept making excuses and so I restated that he and everyone else had been given notice and weren’t allowed on my property and hung up.
This just shows you that you really can't count on anyone else to help you.

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