I shall begin by thanking those town employees who have worked endlessly to try and free-up the ice-besieged, snow-narrowed streets and sidewalks of Shelburne. I understand there is presently an equipment shortage. In light of this, I am grateful those hands-on employees have the stamina to keep at it. They must be exhausted. Thank-you also to everyone else involved in this winter clean-up.
Then we have the complainers. Let me remind them that at times there are extreme weather conditions impossible to deal with instantly, if at all, and will only ease with time. Moving ice-frozen snow that makes cast iron look like marshmallow will never be done by complaining.
Think about the labor it takes to bust-out, by hand, those storm drains; or imagine maneuvering that piece of heavy equipment as it lurches, bounces, wrestles back and sometimes crumbles. Think about doing those things during rotten weather when you are totally fatigued, in extremely dangerous conditions, with a line of impatient, scowling, muttering drivers tapping the old steering wheel, or those phone-clutching, coffee-balancers skidding by inches away on the slippery street wishing you would evaporate, or at the very least get the job done yesterday.
Taxation, financing, staffing and maintenance are tough deals for small towns these days. Budgets are stretched, jobs are few, cities beckon. Like it or not we are left freezing in the dark. Upper levels of government seem completely wrapped in world affairs. This is a hard and brutal winter. As for beating it, well, as Huckleberry Finn said, “This ain’t no 37 year job Tom Sawyer it’s a 38 year job.”