Thursday, December 27, 2012

Can I Fight City Hall and Win?

It stinks (I have no better word that can be used in a family friendly blog) when governments are held to a different standard than the people they supposedly exist to serve. (Governments serving the people - what a concept.  In the United States that is the theory, but - too many times, it is just a theory.

So, because of that, I wrote emails to a Town official and the newly reelected County Supervisor tonight.  I will keep you, my faithful readers, up to date on whether I get any response.

As a little background:  my neighborhood was once the home of one of the largest, if not the largest, wooden frame structures in our country.  In September of 2011 it was occupied by BAE Systems.  Then Tropical Storm Lee came and flooded the building with some 42 inches of water. (It also flooded much of my neighborhood, but that is besides the point.) Goodbye, BAE, which moved several miles down the road.  The building, then owned by the Air Force, was taken over by the County. 

Up to this winter, BAE (and, before then, Martin Marietta and GE) took care of the sidewalks in a timely manner.

Since BAE moved out at the end of February, 2012, (they only had a skeleton crew on site but still provided some snow removal)  no one has maintained sidewalks when it has snowed.

This morning, I had to walk through naturally fallen snow and also the snow thrown from Main Street by town snow plows.  It was physically difficult.   I am a 60 year old woman with a bad back. I was panting by the time I got to the bus stop, walking through what must have been nearly a foot of heavy, wet snow. (And yes, I do exercise.)

As of this evening, the snow appeared to be untouched.  There were three people waiting at the bus stop in front of BAE.  Although this building is vacant, that bus stop is frequently used by the public.

I saw various citizens, tonight, walking on the side of Main Street - living up to its name, it is heavily traveled by cars.  In other words, walking in the streets is dangerous.

I do not know who is responsible for snow removal - the County provides security but I don't know if they are also responsible for snow removal. In reading Town of Union code, this would seem to be a violation.  I believe the Code requires snow removal within 5 hours after the snow ends.  It does for flesh and blood citizens, anyway.  For the County - who knows?  The same County that exists to serve its citizens?  But we know how that goes....

I live, by the way, in an area that frequently gets 80 or more inches of snow in a year.  My fellow citizens and I may be wading through snow (and slipping on ice) in front of this approximately 800,000. square foot building from now until March.  Or even April, if we have what used to be a typical winter here.

It will certainly be interesting if either of these officials monitor their email (or even have assistants who do.) Something tells me I will be keeping my phone busy after the New Year.

Have you ever "fought City Hall?" and won?


  1. I have found better luck fight issues with corporations (and that is limited too!) then with any government type agency. In fact the last corporation I argued with (over workman's comp rate misrepresentation to my company) went nowhere due to the state regulatory agency taking their side. It seemed to me that work comp abuse is prevalent on both "sides of the counter".... sorry. venting.

    1. I'm holding my breath for the next time it snows. It is supposed to warm up this week (into the 40's) but then it will be back to winter. Ugh!


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