By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
A familiar face has returned as the city’s tree warden.
Leo Kelly, who served as tree warden from Jan. 28, 2013, to Dec. 1, 2014, was sworn in by Assistant City Clerk Sharon Recchia as Mayor Nancy R. Rossi stood by during a brief ceremony Dec. 20 at City Hall.
Kelly, a licensed arborist since 1979 and certified tree warden since 2010, was appointed by Rossi for the part-time position, which was formerly held by Bob Herrington, also a licensed arborist and certified tree warden.
Kelly, a lifelong city resident, will receive a $4,999 stipend for the job, which is under the aegis of the Department of Public Works and acting Commissioner Louis P. Esposito Jr.
Kelly, 65, is a former firefighter and paramedic of the West Shore Fire Department. He retired in 2009 after a 28-year career.
As tree warden, Kelly’s responsibilities include overseeing the maintenance, removal and replacement of public trees. However, only city trees that are deemed hazardous are removed, he clarified.
Kelly, who sits on the board of directors of the Tree Wardens Association of Connecticut, said he will work with city departments, tree contractors and utility companies to ensure that public trees are made safe and future tree planting is done under the “right species, right site” practices.
Anyone with questions or complaints about city trees and shrubs can call Kelly at (203) 937-3585.