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ST. HELENA -- The St. Helena City Council agreed Tuesday to disband the city’s Tree Committee due to a lack of members.

The council will authorize city staff to take action on tree permits that previously came before the committee, which was established in 1995. Staff’s decisions may be appealed to the council.

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As of July 1, only two out of the Tree Committee’s seven seats were filled, so it was unable to muster a quorum necessary to hold a meeting. With several tree removal permits pending and no applicants responding to the city’s recruitment efforts, city staff recommended that the committee be disbanded.

As recently as April, the committee had three regular members and two alternates. Since then, Joan Westgate resigned and Edie Kausch and Scott Freeland did not apply for reappointment when their terms ended in June, leaving only Susan Smith-Allen and Matthew Strouss.

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