Letter: ...Not every citizen owns a 4x4 or snowmobile

Dear Editor,
After observing the performance of the city conducting snow and ice abatement so far this winter, I’m starting to question whether the city is actually carrying out their responsibilities on behalf of all Citizens in a timely, efficient, effective and fiduciary manner.
For Pete’s sake, snow plowing, sanding and removal should not a big surprise. This annual event must be controlled and managed to include; the total number of inches allowed to accumulate on the street before operations start, street priorities such as those around the hospital, VA clinic, fire department, schools, public service buildings and the clearing of snow around fire plugs etc.
Does the school board and city network in regard to this and other public safety issues? Not every citizen owns a 4x4 or snowmobile and I’m not the only person grumbling and expect better performance.
It’s apparent there is no priority for what gets plowed first. The Veterans Memorial parking lot is plowed before Klondike Drive is. Klondike has not seen a plow truck since before the last two snow events.
Has anyone seen the city’s snow and ice abatement plan? Who prepared and enacts it? Who is enforcing the code? It would be wrong to lay blame at the feet of the workers/employees for the lackluster performance of leadership.
These problems can’t be due to the lack of funds, or is it? The annual budget must have already set aside the necessary tax monies to pay for equipment, employee availability, pay, overtime and the materials needed to get the job done.
If snow removal and sanding of the entire City can’t be properly performed due to the lack of personnel and equipment, then maybe it’s time to contract it out.
Who put the caution tape out near the Veterans Memorial separating snowmobilers from the walking/skiing trail? Why was this not managed/foreseen and corrected before the snow season hit? These are serious public safety issues.
Who is performing the managerial operations and quality assurance monitoring of the city’s programs and the code/ordinances itself?
While driving down Camp on many occasions, I’ve witnessed multiple people, including children walking on the snow packed icy streets in the dark because sidewalks are not being cleaned by homeowners in a timely manner per the city code/ordinance. Who is enforcing the code?
Oh, here we go again with the city code/ordinances. How effective can a city be with defective outdated code/ordinances? Ely is a charter city.
The mayor makes comments like “he has priorities.” The people would like to know what are they? The weak mayor is nothing more than a council member in this city. The council needs to re-mediate themselves on how this charter city/is supposed to run and adding the word “fiduciary’ to their vocabulary would be in order.
The charter, code and ordinances are so out of date the words; negligent and dereliction come to mind. How can the city enforce law when the law the Council is required to keep up to date “codify” is outdated and ineffective? Why are there seven members of the council? The citizens need to wake up and make changes to their charter. Five actively engaged and educated council members is enough. Crisis management is a liability to the city.
The city is squandering unplanned tax monies from its annual budget paying the city attorney to negotiating “garbage collection contract/license” with a local corporation allowing them to offer services to the citizens and businesses within the city because the code/ordinances is out of date and fails to control how Ely takes out its garbage.
The multiple wearing hat clerk, treasurer and whatever other title he has must be over tasked. He obviously isn’t clerking the code/ordinances. It’s appalling watching the citizens get strong armed by a corporation because their elected and hired leadership are failing to perform. The citizens are paying good monies for questionable performance and should be asking to see the financial reports.
My hats off to Dollar General for being the go-to shop in town. As Ely’s economy slowly gets snuffed out, its leadership must work smarter than ever before. Ely is one of the greatest places in the country to live. It’s better than this. Our lives and success have always revolved around “Mining, Timber and our Wilderness” lets keep it that way.
David Franks
Ely, MN