Miller to Annapolis: Clear the streets

February 09, 2010|By Annie Linskey | Baltimore Sun reporter

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller hurled a verbal snowball at the city of Annapolis Tuesday morning, criticizing what he called the municipality's "disgraceful" efforts to clear icy and slippery roads.

Annapolitians, he said, "should have better treatment from their elected officials."

"This is a high-end city," he said. "It is a very wealthy city. What was good in the 1700s is not acceptable." The weekend blizzard left snow drifts in Annapolis that reached 33 inches, said a spokesman. An official tally of the storm's accumulation has not yet been released because of measuring errors.

Miller said he almost got stuck on the Duke of Gloucester Street Monday evening, a road he labeled "a main artery." Also he said there were three-inch ridges of ice clogging Market Street.

Miller was careful not to blame newly elected Annapolis Mayor Joshua Cohen for the mess -- whom he said he "likes" -- but instead pointed to the city's institutional inertia.

"This city is stuck in a time warp," Miller said. "They believe the only snow removal is the sun. When the sun doesn't come out the citizens are greatly inconvenienced."

Phillip McGowan, a spokesman for Cohen, acknowledged that many of the city's residents are "frustrated by the circumstances."

"Quite frankly we do not have the capacity to handle an event of this size," McGowan said. He called the size of the storm a "once in a life time" event.

He said that the city has already spent $200,000 clearing snow this year, vastly exceeding the $80,000 budgeted for it. .

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