Monday, January 3, 2011

A Plainfield Citizen's Suggestions for Greater Efficiency and Effectiveness

Dear Friends,

Plainfield, Dec. 27, 2010, (source:
I recently received an email from a Plainfield citizen with suggestions for greater efficiency and effectiveness in the way the City responds to snow emergencies--plowing and removal. I am posting that email here in its entirety.

On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 7:34 PM:

1.      Mr. Mapp, this recent snowfall started me thinking of how we could respond better as a City to such a hazardous condition and with the most efficiency.  I think the following could be helpful:

2.      Fit several PMUA garbage trucks with plows.  They are out early each morning and could plow snow off to the side while making their regular rounds and when DPW comes in they can finish off what has been started by the PMUA.  Not in their contract? Well all things are negotiable when the economy is down and we are trying to save jobs.

3.      The patrol cars can be given a couple of bags of salt for icy intersections afterhours.  Since we work 24/7 there wouldn't be any overtime cost to the City.  We also have two pickup trucks that we use to plow our own lot, so we could keep sand, salt, etc in the back during winter season to help out with major ice conditions at hazardous intersections after hours.

4.      The Fire Department could keep salt and sand in their open pickup truck for emergency icy intersection conditions. 

5.      The last resort would be a call out to DPW on overtime, which would probably not be necessary if we set in motion the aforementioned plan.

I agree with this citizen that if the suggested plan (or one designed utilizing some of its components) were to be implemented, it could result in a significant dent in the City’s overtime budget for snow removal. The idea of attaching plows to the PMUA vehicles is one that has been previously mentioned; it is a shared service that can be easily implemented between the City and the PMUA. 

The other suggestions can be readily implemented as a directive from the City’s Director of Public Safety. This is one way that the City’s finest and bravest can contribute to the enhancement of public safety while at the same time reducing the operating cost of the DPW. Your suggestions and feedback would be greatly appreciated as well.

Best regards for 2011,