Press Club

The Right Note: Snow Redux

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Thumbs up to new County Manager Mark Schwartz for seeking out public input at a forum February 24th on how to better respond to and recover from major snow events. I know one burning question for many parents is, should it really have taken an entire week after a major snow event to return to school?

Let’s face it though, we do not have major snow events inside the beltway on a regular basis.

There is no need for the county to spend millions on heavy snow removal equipment like they may have in many places to our north. However, improvements to the contingency planning for such events may be in order.

County officials and the Virginia Department of Transportation should focus on how can we avoid the rush hour disasters of 2-4 inches of snow that fall just as millions in the area are heading home from work. Regional officials, most certainly looking ahead to “Snowzilla,” essentially ignored the snow forecast two days before the blizzard which resulted in hours of gridlock.

It is not the first time a smaller snow event timed with the commute home wrecked havoc on the region. It certainly seems like a more pressing problem than figuring out how to move 20-30″ of snow off county streets once every few years.

For both the major and more minor snow events, hopefully the forum is worthwhile in fostering practical solutions for the future.

A big thumbs up to all the police officers, firefighters, health care professionals, and County emergency personnel that worked during the storm. As we hunker down in our homes, we can forget about the people who are working to make sure we are as safe as possible.

Thumbs up to good neighbors. I don’t know about your street in Arlington, but I find a storm often brings out the best in a neighborhood. Neighbors spend time helping neighbors. Children of all ages play together. Long conversations replace quick hellos. Not to wish blizzard conditions on the county all the time, but it’s not so bad every once in awhile.

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