Letters to the Editor

Civic duty

January 20, 2010


To the editor:

I have been tempted to write about snow on sidewalks but have resisted because it seemed there are weightier matters in our world today. Mr. Miller’s letter made me reconsider. Clearing sidewalks is not about City Hall. It’s not about whether one property owner has more work to do than someone else. It’s not about whether it is unfair to have to clear a sidewalk a second time after another snow or another round of plowing. The reason for clearing sidewalks is to make the walking path safe for children and other pedestrians. The point of it especially is to keep them from having to walk in streets.

Do we really need an ordinance that fines people for leaving sidewalks covered with snow and ice? Well, yes! There was a rather striking improvement in my part of town with the recent heavy snows, difficult as it was to keep sidewalks clear. Most people seemed to have responded to the publicity about the snow shoveling ordinance if not the threat of a fine itself. Anyone who reads the newspaper or keeps up with local news on television, radio or Web sites knew about this; anyone who ignores local news and common sense deserves a small slap on the wrist.

Good sidewalks help make good neighborhoods, and good neighborhoods help make a good community. We all benefit from that, and we all have a responsibility to contribute.


Centerville 8 years, 3 months ago

And really good neighbors help clear those sidewalks, especially if they use them, regardless of who owns them.

George Lippencott 8 years, 3 months ago

Do you actually shovel a walk? How long is it? If you do not, have you volunteered to help the seniors and those with disabilities who current have to shovel their walks? Less than half the citizens have to shovel, what are the rest doing?

parrothead8 8 years, 3 months ago


I'm not sure I understand your point. It seems that because Mr. Douglas doesn't describe all the snow-shoveling he does in his letter, you've decided to take him to task. Why should he have to quantify for you the amount of do-gooding he does? Why should anyone?

Why does it matter that "less than half the citizens have to shovel"? Is something only fair if everyone has to do it?

mr_right_wing 8 years, 3 months ago

Can we move on yet? About 90% of whatever homeowners didn't shovel has melted anyway. Even I have stopped taking notes to report those who are tardy on shoveling. (Yep, just call me the snow narc!)

BlackVelvet 8 years, 3 months ago

just a matter of time before someone used the "L" word....

(lawsuit for those who are a mite slow)

George Lippencott 8 years, 3 months ago

parrothead8 (Anonymous) says…

Yes, in my world everybody gets to contribute. I am sick and tired of people demanding I provide civic services when they do not. We are all in this together.

OBTW. Mr Douglas should speak for himself. If he does not shovel he should volunteer to do something else.

consumer1 (Anonymous) says…

Hard to sue me when the walk is not on my property. In my case it is also not an easement. Whoops!!!

How about a few "pleases" rather than demands. Of course not, this is Lawrence with a deep sense of entitlement!!

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Drivers are the whiney ones. Always wanting government to clear the roads for them yesterday if not sooner. Socialism in a billion dollar way. Then they want government to build more roads for their cars. Drivers never stop asking for socialistic endeavors. More big government is all they can think about.

I would say let the government clear the sidewalks because it would save a ton of government tax dollars.

George Lippencott 8 years, 3 months ago

Number_1_Grandma (Anonymous) says…

I have no idea. I do what is both required and appropriate. I do not need all this garbage about failue to comply. I suspect the vast majority of people are - I know in my neighborhood there was very widespread compliance as there was before the ordinance was strengthened..

So I want a please and a thank you rather than constant attacks.

My real issue is a legal one. The right of the city to make a limited number of people to do anything associated with city property. Either everybody gets to do it or nobody is required to do it. Sorry, but I do not like flawed laws applied to a minority!

parrothead8 8 years, 3 months ago


If everybody gets to contribute, does that mean you'll start doing all the things Joe Douglas does that you don't currently participate in? How will we ever find enough hours in the day for everybody to do everything?

George Lippencott 8 years, 3 months ago

parrothead8 (Anonymous) says…

And what does Mr. Douglas do for all of us that many others of us do not do in addition to shoveling your sidewalk!

parrothead8 8 years, 3 months ago


That's exactly my point. If you don't even know what kind of life Joe Douglas leads, who are you to call him out on what you can only assume he is or isn't doing?

George Lippencott 8 years, 3 months ago

parrothead8 (Anonymous) says…

I did not call him out, at least not in my perseption. I asked whether he performed civic service as he demanded that others perform it. See my new blog

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