I am writing to offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to the Public Works Department for their efforts in the 2021 snow-fighting season. As you know we have had five weeks of nearly continuous snow, including two events measuring over 10 inches. This meant a lot of long nights and days of seemingly endless routine. I remember the sleep deprivation from when my wife and I had newborn twin babies on our hands. I was a walking zombie and operating a plow would have been near impossible. We may begrudge an un-plowed alley here or there, but you cannot diminish the effort that has been put forth.

I often read my kids the story of “Katy and the Big Snow.” For those who are unfamiliar, a big snow comes to Geopolis and Katy the bulldozer clears the roads so the mail can be delivered, the fire fighters can get to the fires, the doctors can get their patients, etc. Too often, public works departments are overlooked or diminished when it comes to our critical first responders. The past month and half demonstrates the critical service Public Works provide. While we are at home sleeping safely in our beds, they are out there clearing the roads.

Of course there is always room for improvement. Many will read this letter and grumble about impassible alleys, or plowed-in driveway aprons, and it is a point well taken as they should always strive for excellence. The perspective from my house is that I have seen a Public Works Department that has kept at it, running a marathon, and then a triathlon on top of that! As I sit here writing this, I watch dump trucks full of snow continue the effort. 

We should be proud of their effort and I applaud them. I am happy to pay my taxes for this work. After all, don’t forget, it could always be worse. Have you seen Chicago’s streets and alleys? Stay warm, folks, and let’s hope the worst of winter is behind us.

Tom Powers, Oak Park

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