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June 26, 2013

Court asked to end ‘War of the Roses’


A battle that began with a rose bush remains a thorny issue in Pulaski Township.

This week, the New Bedford Lions Club went to court seeking an injunction to get back into a building they donated to the Pulaski Township supervisors in 2005.

Attorney George Freed, representing the club, filed for an injunction Monday. He asked that Lawrence County Common Pleas Courts order the township to return to the club a key to the facility, allow the Lions access to the building without incurring any fees, stop harassing Lions Club members and to maintain the property and trim all shrubs at township expense.

The club, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for the blind, formerly met in the building, but it has been closed to them since September 2011.  The club also hosted its annual dinner for the blind there, but the supervisors allegedly complained that cake crumbs and icing were left behind.

Soon after that, club members said, the supervisors changed the lock on the door and told the club that a $100 security/cleaning deposit must be paid to the township prior to each use of the facilities —  something never required in the past. They also said the key must be obtained from the township building prior to an event and returned the following  morning.

Club members last week said friction between the supervisors escalated after they requested that the supervisors place a plaque in the building, noting that it had been donated by the organization

“We were going to pay for the plaque ourselves,” said Lions president Bruce Clingan. “They rejected our request.”

That came on the heels of an incident last year involving the planting of two rose bushes. Club members observed that greenery around the building was covering a sign  reading “New Bedford Lions Club, Chartered 1949.”

Clingan said he asked that the overgrown bush be trimmed and was told to see to it himself. He said he hired someone to do it, but was told the bush was “more dead than alive.” After the trimming, the bush looked unsightly.

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