Alva Review-Courier -

Branching out; will Freedom's town Christmas tree be relocated?


November 22, 2018

The Town of Freedom held their regularly scheduled meeting Nov. 14 with board members Shad Brackin and Terry Smith present (Rolando Galindo was absent). Town clerk Cindy Reed and maintenance workers Stuart Page and Bonnie Greer attended the meeting, along with two non-scheduled guests from the Freedom Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber president and vice-president came to share letters they’ve received about the possible movement of the town’s Christmas tree. One letter read by Bryant Weber was sent by a woman in Woodward whose stance was to keep the tree in its traditional place. Two other letters echoed that sentiment, praising the holiday spirit the Christmas tree provides.

“I’ll be honest, when I came to Freedom, my first year, the Christmas tree was a shock to me. I do love it there, though. I don’t picture it anywhere else,” Weber said.

Smith said her primary concern was safety.

“I want to make sure that we’re covered – that the city is not responsible if some freak accident happens. I think from my perspective, what I really want to see is us cover ourselves ... liability-wise, we need something that takes it off the town.” The group discussed liability insurance and it wasn’t clear if the tree would be covered. Weber agreed to talk to the insurance provider.

Stuart Page spoke up, “I’m one of the people that don’t like it there ... it probably wouldn’t be bad if you could find a skinnier tree. It seems to me it’s just a bother there (at that location). It’s in the way.” He said he agrees it’s pretty, but stood firm in his opinion on it being bothersome. Page said he’s not the only one who feels that way. “I hear people grumbling about it when it’s sitting here in the middle of the street.”

Smith said once again her concern was safety, especially in the highly litigious society of today. She made it clear there would indeed be a Christmas tree – that only its placement was in question.

Brackin spoke up, “You’ve got concrete around it, but if there’s ice on Main Street and somebody’s coming up behind you, hits you and shoves you in and a limb comes through your window ... you can’t move the barriers far enough away to prevent a limb from coming through your window ... the tree is much more aesthetically pleasing at the end of Main Street.”

The group ultimately decided to have Weber talk to the insurance company to make sure any incident that could come from the tree would be covered and requested he provide them proof of coverage. “Maybe next year we can have a vote on where everybody wants the tree,” Page said. “I know everybody wants it.”

The board moved on, approving minutes from their previous meeting and also the purchase orders for the general, fire, ambulance and grant funds. A brief discussion ensued on the Employee Scope of Work and Benefits Policy for 2019 and a motion to approve was carried.

Meeting dates for 2019 were reviewed and approved to stay scheduled for the second Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. Department reports were given and with everything in good working order, the meeting adjourned.


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