“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Friday, February 05, 2010

City planners fail to plan for snowfall

Reminders of the severe snow storm that battered us last week remain six days later. It is understandable neighborhoods are still unplowed. But some of the arterials and other main streets are rutted and divided by a barrier of snow.
The storm dropped 10-12 inches over the two-day period, by our standards a major snowfall.
Local blogs and Facebook comment on how poorly the city has responded to the storm. The Amarillo Independent has heard reports of people being angry about the city’s performance.
So why, six days later and with another storm threatening, is the city in this situation?
City Public Works Director Michael Rice and his crews tried their best and kudos to those workers. Rice said Monday the city doesn’t have enough resources to handle this much snow despite calling in the entire crew and running 12-hour shifts through Friday.
How much of the heat should Rice and his crews take for this situation? None.
Most of the city’s response to questions focused on the lack of equipment. But the problem is a lack of of planning. Rice has never been to a conference on snow removal and he should have been. Declaring a snow emergency and other measures not related to equipment are available. Just ask Coloradans.
The Indy called City Manager Alan Taylor, who had Rice return the call. But the specific request was to talk to Taylor because he is where the buck stops on the city’s day-to-day operations. Taylor is responsible for leadership and vision.
A massive blizzard paralyzed Denver in 1982 and cost popular Mayor Bill McNichols the next election.
Amarillo’s form of government should not bear that heavily on Mayor Debra McCartt; but when Taylor is next evaluated, the commission should consider new blood is needed at the top.