Snow Sense At All

As most have you have probably figured out I am not a big fan of
big government.  I believe there is a role for government but it does not
need to consume every aspect of our lives.  I truly feel that a big
government style of politics is too bureaucratic, too tedious and too
corrupted.  I also truly believe that big “city” government is
all of that and then some.  City government just can’t get out of its own
way.  I will confess that their hearts are in the right place but there is
only so much a city government can do and when you create a large bureaucracy, such as in our illustrious city, a lot of common sense goes out the window and I
have seen it many times.  The latest was this past Friday during the
snowstorm that nobody saw coming.  It wasn’t the plowing operations I
found humorous but it was the trash collection, yep trash collection.

Like everybody
else on Friday I woke up put on the news to see about cancellations and check
the forecast.  I went on to Facebook, Twitter, the City’s website and saw
nothing about trash collection being canceled.  I thought nothing of it because
I had seen  the below statements on their Facebook page the previous days.
On Wednesday
Snow won’t stop our sanitation crew from collecting. Trash
and recycling WILL BE collected tomorrow. If your collection is tomorrow, make
sure it is curbside between 6:00am-7:30am. Please help us squash the rumor that
is going around by sharing this message.
Rumors?  I didn’t know
there were rumors about the Sanitation Department or the trash collection, so
rumor is squashed with me.  How tough is our sanitation department!!!!
Since the storm
did not come on Wednesday night or Thursday morning and local communities were
closing shop in anticipation the DPW once again took to social media with
this post on Thursday 3/7
Just a reminder, trash and recycling are on a normal
collection schedule today. Please make sure trash and recycling are curbisde
between 6:00am-7:30am. For questions, call (508) 929-1300.
Ok, got it.
 Trash is being picked up on Thursday.  
So since the DPW
took a Gung-Ho approach to weathering the conditions of lack of snow on
Thursday, one would assume that the fearless employees of the Sanitation
Department  would be out in full force to pick up our trash on Friday.
 Since the DPW did a fabulous job squashing any rumors about trash
collection being cancelled, I was full of pride to put my trash out in a
snowstorm and walking through about 7 inches of snow down my driveway to get it
to the curb at 6:00 am.  Because, as all of you know the city requires you
to Set recyclables and trash at the curb between 6:00 and 7:30 AM on your scheduled trash/recycling day.
Set recyclables and trash apart by at least 4 feet. 
That is from the city’s website.  
I work from home
so as I was going about my day and I saw this message flash up around 8:30 am on Friday

Trash and Recycling Collection
Delay: Weather-related
Due to the severity of
the weather forecast, there will be no trash and recycling today, on Friday,
March 8th. Friday’s trash and recycling will be collected on Saturday, March
Please bring any trash
or recycling away from the curb so the plows can continue uninterrupted.
As a reminder, trash
and recycling should be placed curbside between 6:00am and 7:30am.
 For any questions, please contact Customer
Service at 508-929-1300.

So for the Thursday collection the DPW found it
necessary to warn residents of Thursday pick up two days in advance that the
Sanitation Department was going to collect trash during a day of flurries but
didn’t communicate that trash collection would be canceled on Friday until an
hour after they require you to have the trash out and quite frankly after people
have already left for work.  This wouldn’t
be so bad had they not been communicating how efficient they were the previous
two days.  This happened because of a
lack of common sense.  The Worcester
School Dept. used great common sense on how they handled cancellations.  Some communities canceled school on Thursday
as well because that was when the storm was predicted to be at its worst, not
Worcester.  They saved the day and it
looked to be a good call.  So why can’t
the DPW follow suit.  On Friday when school
was canceled why couldn’t they just cancel trash pick-up?  Nobody would have had an issue with it.  But because of this blunder some residents
saw their trash get buried in the snow by the plows because they put the trash
out and went to work.  I was out and
about and saw a man literally having to dig his trash out of a snow bank.
It’s easy to just say to let the trash stay in the
snow until it melts.  But if residents
did that, the moment the snow melts they would be getting nuisance notices from
the DPW because their trash is out when it is not supposed to be, no matter the
This happens when you have too many cooks in the
kitchen.  That decision needs to be
communicated no later than 7:00 am.  I
have no doubt that the decision was made in due time.  But it had to get through so many channels to
get the word out, that it didn’t get out timely enough.  It also may be that the DPW’s “Social Media Communicator”
 doesn’t get to work until then and that
was their first duty of the day. 
Whatever the reason, when you have a 24 hour operation such as the DPW,
and the success and the dependencies of these communications to residents
through social media, there is no reason that updates can’t come out in a
quicker and more convenient manner.  Just saying.
On a side note, my road did get plowed three times
during this storm and we are grateful.
If you don’t take it from me, ask my wife.

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