Peoria: reputation for incompetence is well earned
Something similar happened after our previous large snowstorm 6-7 years ago (I forget the exact date). Things haven't gotten any better.
Even worse, the person in charge of things says
"Most of what we did, I would do again," Van Winkle said. "I checked with other communities and our attack and strategy was precisely the same. . . . We're not Houdinis. We can only do what we can with the resources we have.
"I've said many times in the past, we are properly resourced for most events, but not for the exceptional."
Hmm, then why did other communities do so much better than we did?
"We got beat this weekend. I just want to know, was it a close game or a good, old-fashioned thumping?" 3rd District Councilman Bob Manning asked staff, noting the many calls from residents he received Sunday night who still hadn't had their streets plowed at all.
"I'm not pointing fingers, especially at the people working 12-hour shifts. But we can't just be in denial. Where did we fail so we can adjust our game plan?"
At-large Councilman John Morris agreed. "Either we had a snow plan that failed or we failed to implement the snow plan. This isn't about the guys who were up all night in a dangerous job. It seems it's about us, about the council, the management. I'm afraid we've got to ask ourselves some tough questions."
The questions were asked, but all the answers weren't there.
The reasons for the city's poor response varied, but staff mainly cited equipment failures and abandoned vehicles that blocked plows and packed the snow.
At-large Councilman Gary Sandberg balked at those.
"One of the major problems is not cars being stuck, but, as someone pointed out, playing your first game in the Super Bowl. We had inexperienced people out there who had never been in a snowstorm," Sandberg said.
"I didn't get an answer to the question, so I'm going to answer it for myself. It was 15 out of 27 drivers that had no experience. Those communities that were more successful (clearing roads) had a great deal more experience. It matters, folks. They have the desire, but I don't believe many of them had the experience."
Larry Mitchell, one of just a couple of residents who stayed through the two-hour council discussion, echoed Sandberg's concerns. Mitchell, who was recently laid off by the city, says he has four years experience plowing snow, with both the city and the state.
"I was told plowing snow is just a fraction of what (public works) does. That fraction shut this city down for three days. People who were brought in in October, who didn't have any experience or even a (proper) license, were out there fighting this storm," Mitchell said.
Anyway, some time ago, during the last election cycle, I made a couple of posts about Ray LaHood, our representative in congress, making a fool of himself at a national level.
See here and here.
Now it struck me: yes, he is an incompetent idiot. But, all that means is that we have appropriate representation as we Peroians are incompetent idiots!
Think about it: natives never had any reason to compete to get better, and those who come here from other places are largely mediocrities who couldn't make it in the "big time" of our professions.
I know that MIT and Harvard weren't exactly recruiting me to join their faculty.