Letters To The Editor


February 26, 2003

Where could city residents put their cars?

Following the record-breaking snowfall and the back-breaking digout in the city I now think of as mistakenly monikered "Charm City," I struggle to find the charm in our local government taking advantage of people in a disadvantaged situation.

After I spent more than five hours of back-breaking, perspiration-inducing, health- threatening snow removal, I saw Baltimore's finest come down my street, ticketing and towing cars because we reside on a snow emergency route.

I understand that rules, laws, methods and procedures must be in place; however, there will always be exceptions where reason and circumstance should be considered.

And in this case there was absolutely nowhere else to park other than the places I cleared. Yet Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. I was suddenly awakened by our car alarm. I thought some type of criminal activity was taking place and came down to find, to my surprise, an officer and a city tow truck removing my car.

And even after towing a plethora of vehicles (I counted 46 on Thursday) the so-called snow emergency route the city removed the cars from still was not plowed and cleared. So if the cars had still been there, the traffic situation wouldn't have changed.

Was this a ploy to victimize taxpaying citizens? Perhaps a well-orchestrated plan devised to recoup a portion of the millions spent during the storm?

The least the city could have done if it was going to ticket and tow would be to plow and clear the so-called snow emergency route so that it could be more effectively and efficiently utilized for traffic, not just for financial support for the city.

Leon Chandler Jr.


City failed miserably in battle with snow

The snowplowing was a disaster. Almost half of the equipment was not in use because of mechanical failures ("Cleanup slowed by snowplow failures," Feb. 19).

And what happened to the sanitation department's personnel and equipment? Why couldn't plows have been attached to the unused garbage trucks? Why couldn't the snow be dumped into the rivers and the harbor?

Many families were not able to shop for basic needs for almost a week.

This is not acceptable. The city must do a better job.

L. E. Shugarman


Many working people who live in the city earn an hourly wage; if they don't work, they don't get paid.

With many snow-covered city streets unnavigable by car or bus for most of a week, large numbers of residents have lost a week's pay. Unfortunately, that means that many families won't be able pay their bills.

Mayor Martin O'Malley claims to represent the working people. But his inept leadership is taking food off of their tables.

David Firestone


Issuing of tickets adds insult to injury

A picture is truly worth a thousand words.

If there were any doubt about this, I would point to The Sun's Feb. 21 front-page picture of an officer ticketing a snowbound car.

What that picture tells me is that Baltimore's government is so mired in red tape and regulations, to say nothing about heartlessness, that some poor motorist whose car was entombed in ice by the worst snowstorm in history had a ticket added to his misery.

I would bet that if that car could have been moved it would have been. And whose fault was it that the streets had not been cleared?

The city employee in the photo could have best served the citizens if she were given a shovel instead of a pen.

K. Gary Ambridge

Bel Air

Tireless efforts deserve applause

I'm tired of hearing residents complain about the snow removal job by the city and surrounding counties. People need to put the magnitude of this storm into perspective; this was a once-in-100 years storm.

The tireless hours and revenue put into the cleanup is to be highly commended.

Wally Guenther

Perry Hall

Don't blame City Hall for record snowfall

While reading snow-related Sun articles during my long commute home on the MARC train Friday night, I could only conclude that being mayor of Baltimore is indeed a no-win gig. Amid nearly nonstop press coverage detailing that our recent storm was undeniably the biggest in modern times, we read that many city residents are miffed at the snow in general and Mayor Martin O'Malley's response to it in particular ("Not all in city are moved by job on snow," Feb. 21).

Various quotes along the lines of "Hey, my street's not plowed yet" were tied together to suggest that the mayor and city workers really should have done a much better job dealing with an amount of snow that neither we nor our children's children could reasonably expect to see dumped on us again in such a short time.

My street in West Baltimore wasn't plowed either, but my wife and I foolishly looked heavenward for the responsible party, not toward City Hall.

Would we really prefer a mayor who would buy, maintain and staff a Buffalo-level fleet of extremely expensive snow-removal equipment to be able to deal with the next storm of the century a day or so more quickly?

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