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JLeslie's avatar

Do you remember any other time in the US when Mayors and Governors came under such criticism for snow clean up?

Asked by JLeslie (47994 points ) January 2nd, 2011

Do you really think Mayor Bloomberg has to be driving a snow plow himself for people to not be angry with him? Not just Bloomberg, but they are upset Chris Christie is in FL? That’s where he was, what can he do about it?

This to me is media bullshit all over again. Sure I understand why people are frustrated, but it is nothing new to be snowed in. The best time in the winter to possibly save money on a snowfall is when the kids are not in school. I have no idea if that factored in, or they were just overwhelmed in these various cities in the northeast.

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18 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

Not really – but Pat Robertson will help with that because he’ll shift the blame for the weather on the gays.

So, on behalf of the gays – I’m sorry, Northeastern United States. I shouldn’t have planned to do gay things.

Supacase's avatar

Nothing on a national level, but it was a pretty big deal in Chicago in 1979.

Cruiser's avatar

Yeah….they are now calling it the Bilandic Effect in honor of our Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic who really screwed the Pooch not once but twice back in 1979

WestRiverrat's avatar

When Clinton’s Sec of transportation Pena was mayor of Denver he wouldn’t let the plows run often, he would just have the garbage trucks go out early and pack the snow down…

filmfann's avatar

I want to say John Lindsey in the late 60’s or early 70’s drew a lot of heat for a similar problem.

Ah yes, here it is

On February 10, 1969, New York City was hit with 15 inches of snow, the worst in 8 years. On the first day, 14 people died and 68 were injured.[16] Within a day, the mayor was criticized for giving favored treatment to Manhattan at the expense of some areas of The Bronx, Staten Island and Queens.[17] Charges were made that a city worker elicited a bribe to clean streets in Queens[18] Over a week later, streets in eastern Queens remained unplowed, enraging residents.[19] Lindsay traveled to Queens, but his visit was not well received. His car could not make its way through Rego Park, and even in a four-wheel-drive truck, he had trouble getting around.[20] In Kew Gardens Hills, the mayor was booed; one woman screamed, “You should be ashamed of yourself.”[20] In Fresh Meadows, a woman told the mayor, “Get away, you bum.”[20] During the mayor’s walk through Fresh Meadows, a woman called him “a wonderful man,” prompting the mayor to respond, “And you’re a wonderful woman, not like those fat Jewish broads up there,” pointing to women in a nearby building who had criticized him.[20] The blizzard, dubbed the “Lindsay Snowstorm”,[21] prompted a political crisis that became “legendary in the annals of municipal politics”[20] as the scenes, captured on national television, conveyed a message that the mayor of New York was indifferent to the middle class.[1]

jerv's avatar

As a former resident of NH where the roads do get plowed promptly, I cannot help but laugh at places that are unprepared. Maybe other states don’t know how to spend their money properly?

I can understand Texas and Georgia being caught flat-footed by a snow storm, but Seattle and NYC?

Jaxk's avatar

When bad things happen, we all look for someone to blame. Personally, I blame Al Gore.

janbb's avatar

@jerv Some of the same people who scream about their streets not being plowed are the same people who would scream if you raised their taxes five dollars to pay for it. Part of the problem is the financial black hole the states are in but also it is pretty hard to be prepared to deal with 30 inches of snow if that is a very rare occurrence in your area.

jerv's avatar

@janbb True, but it’s not exactly rare in New York, merely uncommon.
Just because something doesn’t happen often doesn’t mean it won’t. This isn’t Atlanta we’re talking about here.

I guess it’s a sign of the times :/

janbb's avatar

@jerv Agree – public services are going to get worse and worse.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe it got a lot of attention because people were travelling over Christmas, didn’t make it to destinations, or were very delayed. Nothing like driving from DC to NY and instead of 4.5 hours it take 10. That will get you annoyed and frazzled pretty fast. That happened a few times when I was little travelling on the holidays. Everyone likes the idea of a white Christmas, but I guess be careful what you wish for.

I appreciate everyone so far who has cited examples from the past. :).

The Chicago example in ‘79. We had a crazy winter in the DC area that year. I remember my sister trying to walk on the snow, falling through and being stuck up to her hips. My dad had to pull her out. I would guess that winter was extra harsh in Chicago also?

Don917's avatar

Personally it was kinda nice to be snowed in for two days ( mid-South ). What we need is more patience for unusual situations. As long as the lights stay on and there’s some food in the cutboard, it’ll be alright till things start to clear up. And if your’e impatient about the pace of the road clearing, just get out front of your house with a shovel !!!

jerv's avatar

@Don917 That’s right! After the nasty ice storm we had a couple of winters ago, there were trees down all along and across our road. Did we wait for the road crews who were too busy elsewhere to even inspect our road for almost two weeks? Nope. There is am upside to being surrounded by chainsaw-wielding maniacs.

Once I moved to Seattle, I found out something a little disheartening; my old 2-mile road in NH had almost as many snowplows on it as the entirety of King County WA! In fact, I almost think Los Angeles has more plows than Seattle :D

Zaku's avatar

Yes, in Seattle in 2008 there was a much larger than usual snow storm that blocked roads for quite a few days. Some doofuses got upset and the mayor ended up promising to violate the wisdom of decades past, saying he would use salt and chemicals in the future on snow, instead of doing the sane tradition we have of not polluting with that crud and just enjoying unscheduled holidays when that happens.

I expect it is media and political BS, as you say.

jerv's avatar

@Zaku Given the amount of property damage and number of ambulances I saw that year compared to three decades in New England, I think a little rust is worth it. Besides, how much money did businesses lose by being effectively closed that season? The only upside was a lot of funny Youtube videos of incompetent drivers to keep me entertained as I sat at home not getting paid.

Zaku's avatar

@jerv Fine. Apparently that’s a popular vocal opinion. I disagree, having grown up here, and seeing that we only have such big snow storms quite rarely. I like the tradition of people having their routines interrupted by snow and getting to take it easy and deal with snow, and being forced to do things like walk and play outside. I found it to be an extremely interesting and refreshing event, which I value far more than businesses as usual and their money. I also value the health of the soil above human concerns. We abuse and poison our environment too much as it is, without salinating it as well.

jerv's avatar

@Zaku The gardens and waterways in NH do just fine, thank you. And the farms. And the wells. (I got my water from 250 feet below my old house.) About the only things that don’t fare well are cars.

As for taking it easy, I just want to point out that waiting for incompetent drivers to plow into my apartment as I sit there in the dark because somebody thought that the AWD in their Subaru would prevent them from hitting that pole and blackening my entire neighborhood is not my idea if “taking it easy”. But since you grew up in Seattle, I can see how you would see snow as a novelty. Then again, I have noticed a lot of other differences between the coasts, among them being work ethic.

We come from two different worlds, and it’s unlikely that I will ever be able to agree with fears that run so counter to my personal experience, nor will I agree with the Left Coast’s “find any excuse to take a day off” attitude, even if it means that you don’t get to eat for the next week because you had to take that time unpaid.

I think it safe to say that our differences are irreconcilable, so let’s not dwell on it.

Zaku's avatar

@jerv Yep. :-)

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