Editorial: It’s ‘snow’ problem

Kudos to the Southington Highway Department during the early winter storms. Once again, local workers raised the bar for communities in the area.

Whether it was the snow and ice storm on Christmas weekend or the latest snow dump, Southington’s plows have been superb.

One of our Observer staff took a small ride around the area after the last snowfall, and he commented that you could almost see the map borders as you crossed the town line in any direction. Southington roads that crossed into New Britain and Plainville funneled into narrow paths as they crossed the town border. The same could be seen for roads leading into Cheshire, Bristol, Meriden, and Wolcott. Southington’s roads were cleaned better. The sidewalks were cleaned first, and the local chat rooms were devoid of the complaining-gone-wild that seemed to overtake our neighbors.

Take Bristol for example. When residents woke up on Christmas weekend, their streets were still covered in ice and too slick to drive on. The Bristol Observer editor tried to be a voice of reason after seeing town workers being blasted on their town’s Facebook chat room.

“City employees take a lot of brickbats in public opinion,” he said in his editorial last week. “But the operators of the city snowplows—and their supervisors, and in many cases, the mayor—have a tedious and often thankless job when the skies open up with ice and snow.”

In contrast, Southington’s similar chat room was pretty much devoid of complaints. There was one complaint about unplowed hydrants a few days later that eventually got linked in with the Facebook feed from Southington Fire Department Co. 3 (Milldale) which challenges residents to to clear three feet from your hydrant. It also challenges residents to help a neighbor if you don’t have one in your yard.

In another post, a new town resident asked about her cul-de-sac, and a host of residents chipped in with a meaningful discussion about the way the town prioritizes roads—with only one moderate complaint on the thread.

The complaints that did exist were mild, such as a question about workers relocating snow at schools and a few plowed mailboxes.

While Bristol’s chatroom was blowing up with complaints, Southington’s was almost silent. It’s proof that sometimes no news is good news. Keep up the good work.

Jennings is athlete of the week

Observer sports writer Brian Jennings can be reached at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.

Have no fear, Southington sports fans, Brian Jennings is back. Our Southington Observer sports writer has returned from his journey down under, just in time to take on the heart of the winter season.

So, if you were worried about the smaller sports section and the absence of the Athletes of the Week page over the last two editions, have no fear. If you’ve been missing his daily updates at www.SouthingtonObserver.com or the Observer Facebook page, don’t worry. He’s baaaack.

So Jennings is our athlete of the week this week (and last). While we were shoveling snow and wondering how many track meets were going to be canceled by weather, he was throwing boomerangs and out-jumping kangaroos to keep in practice.

Welcome back.

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