Snow situation totally mishandled

Letter to Editor by Andrew Stempel

I would like to voice my extreme displeasure in how things in Lexington were handled during the snow removal, particularly the declaration of an emergency for three inches of snow and the towing of vehicles to create an emergency snow route.

The fact that Lexington and the mayor would declare an emergency for three inches of snow is absolutely absurd.

The East Coast has been slammed with several feet of snow. It is just plain ridiculous that Lexington declares an emergency for a minor three inches.

What makes this situation more ludicrous is the fact that 119 cars were towed at their owners’ expense to make room for clearing three measly inches of snow. To make matters worse, the notification system was seriously flawed.

For the mayor to declare an emergency at 6 p.m. and towing to start at 10 p.m. is extremely short notice. The audacity of the mayor to assume that everyone in Lexington watches the 6 p.m. news or listens to local radio is completely illogical.

Also, to put notices out on Facebook and Twitter is preposterous. Not everyone is connected to social networking sites or spends all day watching the media.

To think that our city government would even consider using social networking sites as a means of informing the public of an emergency is outrageous. More measures could have been observed in order to let the public know their vehicle was going to be towed; allowing four hours is insane.

I live on North Limestone and no one ever knocked on my door to inform me of a declared emergency and necessary towing. A simple running of the license plates would have provided the city with phone numbers to call to inform the residents of this city that they needed to move their vehicles.

Ill-placed signs describing snow emergency routes are often overlooked as this city rarely experiences large snow storms. The amount of money spent by Lexington residents over the past few hours to claim their vehicles is outrageous.

I have never known a city to act as rashly as Lexington did. In most major cities, the streets are just simply plowed and if your car is covered up, so be it.

The fact that Lexington made the decision to tow downtown residents who are faced with limited parking in the first place is tremendously irresponsible. The fact that it was such short notice is downright criminal. The exorbitant fees that were placed upon us do not fit the offense.

The bottom line is that it is sad and offensive that the mayor and the city of Lexington chose to act this way.

Andrew Stempel

design graduate student