Government denied services under guise of safety


There are at least two kinds of people in the world; 1.) people who can confidently and safely operate motor vehicles and their own two legs two days after a three-inch snowfall, and b.) those who cannot. That's fine, and I have no real quarrel with those local governments who kept schools, for example, closed so as not to force those in group b. to venture out when they did not feel it safe.

However, it seems to me that folks in group 1. could have been accommodated a lot better on Friday, at least, if local government had decided to give them as much as possible of the services we pay for with taxes. I'll burden you with only one example, but there are many: Swan Lake. It seems to me that having Swan Lake closed on Friday was municipal halfwittery at its most egregious. We love Swan Lake; we're proud of Swan Lake; we brag about Swan Lake, and we might get the chance to explore it cloaked in serious winter finery only once every decade or two. Except that we missed that chance this week, because it was closed and locked up tight.

That we were locked out of Swan Lake on Friday makes me think that our local decision makers lack any sense of commitment to giving us as much as possible of the benefits for which we pay. I have asked myself, "Self, do you think that our local elected officials and their minions ever think about maximizing access to services during unusual circumstances?" And, I have answered: "Are you kidding? They gonna avoid stress and accountability by closing everything, and if challenged, they'll drag out that old chestnut about just wantin' to keep us all safe." We deserve better.

I know we have planners here; I've encountered some, and I tried to volunteer to be part of their process, but that got a deaf ear. But, I don't think we have a "Planner in Charge of Maximizing Services Under Unusual Conditions," and we deserve one. Local administrations may well not believe in global warming, but science doesn't give a rat's back if you believe in it; it's just gonna keep on giving you more and more things that you've never seen before, and an old-fashioned reliance on reactive administration (business as usual) will reap the whirlwind. Yeah, there will be a whirlwind. Count on that. Count on everything. Prepare for everything. You owe it to us.