Even with sincere environmental and conservation aspirations, it is unusual for a municipality to employ an arborist and city forestry expert.
The city of Chattanooga and its mayors— from many administrations ago—are to be congratulated for possessing the foresight, good judgment and environmental stewardship that enabled Gene Hyde to serve our city.
Associated with my environmental law practice, I had the privilege of working with Gene from time to time on environmental and conservation matters, and I was always so impressed not only with Gene’s extraordinary knowledge, but also with his sense of fairness and care for our environment, when he was called upon to make sometimes polarizing and difficult decisions regarding balancing the environmental wealth which our city possesses —in terms of its tree canopy and biodiversity—
and sometimes opposing property and development rights.
Gene served in a manner which always offered our citizens and elected officials a wealth of knowledge, coupled with an ethic comprised of passion for conservation and fundamental fairness to property owners and environmental advocates.
There are far too many regulators, codes enforcement officers and bureaucrats who fail to see the forest for the trees.
I hope that they will take a minute, as Gene enjoys his retirement, to reflect on his career and his compassionate method for providing guidance, offering advice and for being one of the strong horses that our city has ridden into its outdoor brilliance.
Gene, all the best to you and to your family as you begin the next chapter in your life.