Regarding the article "Stores want W. Broad St. trees gone" in The Westerly Sun, hearing trees scapegoated as thwarting business development is not something I would expect in coastal New England. And while I understand the annoyance of having cameras and signs blocked, it's the cameras and the signage that are at fault, not the trees. Maintaining the village charm to which street trees are essential should be the preferred path.
Economic development is quantifiable: If Westerly's business decline was steady for several years until the trees were removed four years ago, and business has steadily increased since then, there may be some actual cause-and-effect. My guess is that this might not be true, and that the trees were just trees, and now they're gone. Better to just keep trimming the lower branches to raise the canopy, appropriately adjust the location of surveillance cameras, adjust the height and facing of signage, and make sure that eye-level-appearance is designed to draw customers.
What village customers are looking for is a village experience, and trees are a vital part of that. Leave the reliance on prominent overhead signage to the strip malls.