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St. Clair Shores Mayor Apologizes for City's Snowstorm Response

Mayor Kip Walby takes responsibility and apologizes for the city's response to the snow.

St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby took responsibility Monday for the not calling a snow emergency following the Dec. 26 snowstorm which dropped about 7 inches of snow on the city.

Following the snowfall, the department of public works crews cleared main streets but did not address most residential streets until Jan. 2.

"I did not call a snow emergency. I should have called it, I made a mistake," Walby said during Monday's City Council meeting. "I do apologize for the inconvenience that it caused a lot of residents including myself."

Walby stated there were a number of issues which went into his decision and stated that the next time he would declare a snow emergency. He added that crews worked over the weekend and will continue to clear snow in the coming days.

The issue was a hot topic on the city's Facebook page and the St. Clair Shores Patch Facebook page.

Lagretta Colo wrote Sunday, "Now would be a good time to plow our streets, so much ice and snow everywhere....hard driving on side streets."

On Friday, Cathy Ray wrote, "What happened to my street?!! I live on Playview in SCS & the city was supposed to plow the streets (a week later) but my street is a mess! Worse than after the snow storm! They threw salt down on top of the ice & now there are giant ruts of slushy mess!"

The city has two ordinances regarding snow according to the most recent city newsletter.

The city may declare a snow event which "is intended to provide for safe passage and to protect the general health, safety and welfare of the St. Clair Shores residents and those using the public walkways." The mayor or the city manager may declare a snow event after 2 inches of snow has fallen or accumulated.

St. Clair Shores resident Tony Caleca spoke at the meeting and stated that he lives on California near the expressway and said it seems that his street never gets plowed.

He added that his relatives in Harper Woods had their streets plowed following the snowstorm—and it isn't better since St. Clair Shores started plowing.

"California to this day is still just horrible," said Caleca, who was reassured by Walby that the street should be plowed.

Temc January 08, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Shoreview I believe gets the shortest end of the stick. The second block between Greater mack and Harper is a dead end and we always get skipped for snow plowing in the winter and ice cream trucks in the summer. I know the ice cream trucks arent the cities doing but its still a bummer for my son. Since when does living on a quieter street equal less attention?
Sharon Wright Guswiler January 08, 2013 at 02:28 PM
"should" or WOULD be plowed?
John T January 08, 2013 at 04:02 PM
No streets in my neighborhood have been plowed. (12 and Jefferson area) Guess the city is hoping it'll warm up rather than spend my tax dollars on cleaning my streets.
Chuck Hall January 08, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Ed, Thanks for the excellent follow up on this. But there is more to this story. I tend to deep scan these type of incidents. While it is costly to provide such services, appearently it is violation to not declare a snow event or emergency. This non-action runs contrary to our ordinance. The ordinance language is key as to a declaration is key to providing for the removal of snow from sidestreets. When reivewed in the next study session this will become evident that the Mayor violated the ordinance by an an act of "No declaration". Per the ordinance, the Mayor or City Manager "Shall declare" This was pointed out to the Mayor via the point being made on the SCS facebook early on by a resident and myself and in a subsequent e-mail to the Mayor. The much delayed plowing of the sidestreets was action that was simply a result of a in-action by the Mayor and acting City Manager to carefully re-consider their own interpetation of the "shall" verbage in our ordinance when brought to their attention by residents and officials.
Ken Swartz January 08, 2013 at 08:36 PM
When they finally did plow, it did absolutely nothing to alleviate the problem. Our street is still an ice rink.
NWO January 08, 2013 at 09:19 PM
NWO Since the storm, Gordon Rd has not been plowed or salted and is creating a hazardous driving situation for the residents and Harper business'. Many of the side streets are still unsafe for driving in SCS. Where are the City leader's?
Ginger Morrow January 15, 2013 at 01:30 PM
I find it amazing the residents of SCS are fined HUGE amounts for not shoveling our walkways, but weeks later and our streets are ruts of ice!

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