The “Can’t Remember” Manager
Suppose we had a crisis and the Village manager was nowhere to be found. He also says .
Oh, and this is the same village manager who just got a in a somewhat stealthy manner this summer.
I am sure you are saying to yourself as you read this that, “It could never happen here.”
Or if it did the Council would be outraged.
But you would be wrong on both counts. Only one member of the council complained.
The defense: Of course, we had plans in place. Plans for what? There was no plan. The fire department ordered some residents to park on the street because of a downed power line and then the police came along and gave them tickets! One hand didn’t know what the other was doing.
Another hot wire was left dangling on a dark street with no light on it while all those sports floodlights on wheels sat at Vets field.
(Let me make it clear I am not criticizing the workers just the lack of management.)
There was no plan.
What there was (and I can say this because I am one of these kinds of guys) was a bunch of older, mainly overweight white guys sitting around a table with their tablets and ballpoint pens – like a flashback to the 50s. No laptops, no iPads, no blacks, no women in sight (although I wouldn't be surprised if one brought them coffee at some point).
And yes, NO Ken Gabbert for the most part.
Is this anyway to run a village? I think not.
This same group gets decent marks for Irene, but they get Fs for Snowtober. It was an unusual event but we need to be better prepared to cope with whatever comes along and use modern communication methods to help people stay safe.
But there were few web site updates. No emails. Few Twitter tweets. (I actually didn't see any.)
We need to do better. We should do better.
But is Ken Gabbert or the present Council the way to get us back on track?
We need people who understand Twitter and Facebook and Email. We need people who know the difference between a paper tablet and a tablet.
We don't need people who refuse to criticize a village manager just because they just mistakenly gave him a big raise.
We need an emergency response plan that includes communicating to the public. (Weren't you a little afraid when the power was out every time the big sirens screamed. A short e-communication could have spread the word to everyone with a smart phone.)
We don't need more excuses. We don't need more "I don't remembers."
We were lucky. No one died. No one was seriously hurt.
We dodged a bullet.
Next time we better have a shield in place and not shoot ourselves in the foot.