Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Anatomy of a Snow Plowing.

I have driven nearly 400 miles these past several days in our city streets.  I have wondered as much as other citizens have about the effectiveness of Minneapolis's and St. Paul's snow plowing efforts.  I wonder why the Mayor of St. Paul and the Superintendent of St. Paul Schools are spatting over who is right on the quality of snow plowing in the city and whether or not the schools should have been closed.  Can't we all get along?

There were people on Tuesday more than likely lost income from their jobs because they had to stay home with their kids  Their were also other trials and tribulations that the Saturday snowfall created in both cities.

There needs to be accountability, openness, and transparency from city leaders as to what transpired since Saturday in regards to the snowplowing efforts.

Are there specific plans for snowplowing such as Saturday's situation? And what are those?  Have there been cuts in the public works departments that have made it less effective in essential snowplowing?  At least in St Paul, why was there such a difference of opinion between two public leaders?  It would be interesting to see their electronic communication if they had any, such as e-mails and text messages.  What was the rationale used by both leaders to come to their conclusions?  Will the city councils do effective oversight?

How can the city government engage its citizens to shovel out emergency items such as fire hydrants immediately after a major snowfall? Or even technology to help fire personnel find the hydrants.  There were several fires in the Twin Cities.  The Pioneer Press reported in the at least with one of those, fire hydrants were hard to find.  How does the role of sidewalk accessibility for pedestrians play in the public works departments snow plowing plans?

What can we learn to do better in a similar situation in the future.?  I hope the city leaders are listening.

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