Monday, December 10, 2007

Snow Removal Law Not A Done Deal

Bureaucracy. Ya gotta love it.

The City of Plattsburgh has been pushing a new law requiring a property owner to clear snow from sidewalks adjacent to his land. But the law won’t be in effect until the Department of State verifies and files it. This is supposed to happen in a couple of weeks.

I won’t be surprised if it takes longer. After all, it’s the end of the year, the holiday season and all that crap. And maybe the Department of State can’t rubber stamp the law until it’s reviewed by the State Department. And maybe the State Department is required to kick it over to the United Nations…

And take note: if the new law is passed, it will be “complaint driven.” When addressing the problem during his reign, former mayor Dan Stewart claimed that Public Works would “scour” the city to search and destroy – I mean clear – any unshoveled sidewalks. Then the scofflaws would be billed.

It doesn’t work that way with the proposed law. You, John or Jane Q. Public, have to call and report violations to either Public Works or the Building Inspectors office. Apparently city employees are too visually impaired to notice snow piled along a stretch of sidewalk. Their unfortunate condition must be the result of snow blindness.

So, as a public service, here’s the contact info to file a complaint:

Building Inspector
Richard Perry, Supervisor
41 City Hall Place
Phone: 563-7707
fax: 563-3645

Public Works
Mike Brodi, Superintendent of Public Works & Recreation
215 Idaho Ave
Phone: 563-6841

And as far as I know, you don’t have to ID yourself when making a complaint. So there’s no reason not to write or call to turn in a scofflaw.

Unless you’re suddenly struck by snow blindness.


Anonymous said...

Ah, yes... The complaint driven law. Basically, a "shut up the whiners" and let everyone else who doesn't know about the law just suffer their fate in the snow and ice. Gotta love it!


Luke T. Bush said...


I don't know if the Press Republican newspaper forgot to include details on the complaint driven part of the law. But it should be mentioned in any other articles on this topic.

I notice that the Town of Plattsburgh has no problem keeping all those stretches of sidewalk clear around the malls. It did slip up on one occasion. A few years ago I was forced to walk in the road, the Route 3 raceway, because the sidewalks were all clogged with snow. One call to the Town and it got right back to me, apologizing for the oversight. The problem was quickly resolved, unlike the foot-dragging here in the city.