Thursday, January 7, 2010

Economy hammering suburban snow removal efforts

Bookmark and Share

Several suburban communities have quietly told their snow removal teams to "go slow" in salting and plowing streets, which is one reason why many major thoroughfares in several suburban communities were still covered in snow.

The villages "just do not have the cash" several village officials who asked not to be identified admitted.

"We're cutting back. We can't spend as much on salt and we can't spend as much on overtime to plow the roads. So we start late, plow less and conserve on salt which is very expensive," one official in a suburban village told me.

I drove through some 12 suburban communities this morning and almost everyone were inches deep in snow  with none plowed or salted by municipal fleets. There was so much advance notice about this storm that youw ould think the villages would get their plows and salt ready. but that wasn't the case. In fact, the notice prompted many to quietly discuss the save money strategy.

And who would complain anyway? You can cut back on snow removal by half and most suburban residents would just shrug. They don't mind complaining but no one holds their elected officials responsible, especially in this off-year election cycle for suburban communities. Even if residents wanted to complain they would have no way to do so until 2012. And that's two major winters away. And suburbanites have shortterm political memory loss, one reason why they have so easily forgotten things like acting Governor Pat Quinn was the running mate twice of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and he never bitched once about Blagojevich's alleged unethical practices.

So suburbanites just sit back and take it, laying back on their fat asses and oding nothing. Because that is a part of the culture these days in the suburbs, once the frontiers of political independence. But the economy has put a damper on everyone, from politicians to voters and everyone is scraping the piggy banks for loose change. And it's not there. That will take the wind out of any rebellious voter anger.

-- Ray Hanania

No comments: