So I found someone to help (thank you!), and we filed the appeal yesterday. I'll let him speak up/chime in if he wishes to do so. They assigned us the following date for a hearing:
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 5:00 pm
WHERE: City Hall (Polk & Grove streets), Room 416
So if you support saving the tree, please mark your calendars for that date if you can make it! We submitted a few brief arguments on the appeal form (see below), but have until August 23 to file additional supporting information (up to 12 pages worth, plus any number of photos or other "exhibits") in support of the appeal.
Interestingly, although I was told over the phone that you have to bring documentation of being on welfare/SSI in order to file an appeal without paying $300, the form with which we were presented at the office appears to indicate this is not in fact true. Besides the welfare/SSI box (a), a person requesting a fee waiver is also able to check one of two other boxes:
[ ] (b) As a person whose monthly income is 125 percent or less of the current federal poverty guidelines (42 U.S.C. §9902(2))
[ ] (c) As a person who, as individually determined by the Board, cannot pay the filing fee without using moneys that normally would pay for the common necessaries of life for the applicant and the applicant's family.
When I questioned Board of Appeals clerk Cecilia Hwang about this, she stuck to what she'd said to me on the phone, but could not produce documentation of it, saying I'd have to speak to someone else who was not in at the time. Talking with their office today, they confirmed that you *can* file an appeal as low income requesting a waiver of the fee without submitting documentation of being on welfare/SSI, and then it's simply up to their director whether to approve the request or ask for more information.
It also turns out that there is not a neighbor or property owner who filed for a permit to kill the tree -- basically the DPW issued themselves a permit (that was kind of what it sounded like from the original notice, but the Appeals office wasn't able to confirm the identity of the permit-holder yesterday, they said because the DPW doesn't list permit-holders on their paperwork. I was able to get the info speaking with their office today.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
P.S. - It feels odd continually referring to "the tree"; I would like to give it a name. I'll collect naming suggestions and put it to a vote!
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