Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Guest Blog: "Blizzard Nemo" by John Milardo

 Below is a essay by John Milardo. All opinions expressed are that of the author and not necessarily that of the Insider staff.

“And Justice For All” is a newsletter involving my opinions, views, and commentary as a life long Middletown resident. In my capacity as a former employee of Middletown (retired) for over 41 years, I have a different perspective regarding how and why public figures do what they do.
Read in its original form here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/1_6qiPEzLwEGx5q0V9sM7aohXBbhbwWYK1oqis-1eOkv8CzybZ1OfGSRO2Fpi/edit?usp=sharing

It’s been about a month since Blizzard “Nemo” struck Connecticut and the northeast area. If you look out, there are remnants from the storm in the shape of large piles of snow, but you can see your lawn now, and spring is only a couple or more weeks away.

Hopefully, everyone faired well during “Nemo” and were able to take care of themselves and neighbors. This is the first time in over forty (40) years I didn’t have to work during a snow storm. Quite frankly, it felt kind of weird to me, being able to shovel my driveway during day light hours, and not at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning.

While reading the local news during the storm, the only complaints I saw where regarding statements Mayor Daniel Drew made informing the public when all roads would be opened. No complaints from the public regarding the job the City workforce was doing, on the contrary, the citizens praised City employees. The public knew how difficult snow removal was, and they understood it would be some time before the streets were completely opened up. Many roads had only a single plow pass through them, some had none. Quite a few streets were even opened up by local residents with their snow blowers.

I think the thing that irritated people the most about comments made by Mayor Drew were his erroneous statements regarding when streets were going to be plowed and opened. First it was by mid-day Sunday, then late Sunday night. By Monday, there were some streets that still didn’t have one plow pass made through them, and he was stating that all streets were now passable and accessible. One of the most glaring issues for the public during the storm was why Main Street was being plowed and snow hauled away, when many residential streets were being ignored? The first thing you have to understand is that the Mayor is an opportunist and will attempt to grab attention and headlines anytime he can. Secondly, whoever gave the Mayor information for him to announce when City streets would be opened didn’t know what they were talking about. If he made the statements on his own, it only shows he doesn’t know what it takes to get the job done.

Councilman Philip Pessina is requesting Mayor Drew provide the Common Council with a full report of how the blizzard was handled. We’ll see what kind of information he provides the Councilman?

What the Common Council should ask these departments is:
• Did you have the proper equipment to use during the snow storm?
• Did the private contractors all work as contracted to do?
• Is there proper funding in their budgets to stock parts and repair equipment?
• Have the departments Capitol Non-Reoccurring (CNR) budgets been funded properly so
older equipment is replaced when needed, with updated, new technology equipment?

All City employees who worked through blizzard “Nemo” should be commended. They leave their families when there is a crisis, and work in harsh and dangerous situations. The Public Works “City Yard” crew, the Water & Sewer maintenance employees, and the Parks maintenance employees worked collaboratively to complete the job. The Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents of these departments work well together.

Stay strong. Stay involved. Stay together. Seek the truth.

Yours in Solidarity.
John Milardo

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