I am really glad my job isn't to manage this public relations disaster for the Borough Of Litchfield, Connecticut and its Board of Warden and Burgesses. Fair use excerpt from Rinker Buck's column in the Hartford Courant:
"For the past six years several military mothers here and their supporters have decorated the trees on the town green with yellow ribbons to express their support for local residents who serve in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But on Tuesday the Borough of Litchfield's governing body, the board of warden and burgesses, voted to prohibit expression that involves ribbons on trees, and that has thrown this attractive tourist mecca in Litchfield County into an uproar...
...Borough Warden Lee Losee did not return phone calls Friday requesting comment on the board's decision. Two board of warden and burgesses members, however, while declining to be quoted on the decision, agreed to describe their reasons for banning ribbons on the green.
First, the board members said, Norfolk forester Starling Childs had inspected the trees on the green and concluded that the ribbons were hurting their health, encouraging the growth of fungus under the ribbons. Second, the presence of yellow ribbons on the green might encourage other groups to apply for permission to hang ribbons there.
Childs, who maintains the 6,000-acre Great Mountain Forest in Norfolk, is one of Connecticut's best-known tree experts. Reached on Friday, Childs said that he was asked by the Borough of Litchfield in October to conduct an inventory of its trees on the green as part of a plan for preserving the space. But Childs says that he was not asked to examine the question of the yellow ribbons and in fact did not even mention them in his report.
"They must be confusing me with some other botanist, because I don't remember even noticing the ribbons at all and I certainly didn't comment on them," says Childs. "The borough should know that if they wanted a professional opinion on the ribbons, they would have to ask for a written report, and they never requested that."
Childs said that he saw the yellow ribbons on the trees on Thursday night, while driving through Litchfield, and he doubted they were causing serious damage to the trees."
Moms and apple pies are probably darting for cover in Litchfield, even as we speak.