Temple Thanks Town Crews for Unselfish Efforts During Storm

The first selectman takes issue with critics of DPW workers, comes to their defense.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our town emergency service volunteers and especially our public works department employees for the unselfish effort they made during Storm Nemo. I am proud of our public works employees and the dedication that they showed when the chips were down.

It is easy to snipe from the warm comfort of your computer room, but I was with our plowers during the height of the storm. Our guys worked well over 50 hours straight (with short breaks in-between)  to make sure all of Oxford was safe.

You have no idea what our public works break-room smells like when nine guys are airing their socks. They lived on donuts and cookies or whatever they could scrounge together. We had equipment that had major malfunctions but our mechanic made the repairs and sent them back out. Our guys got testy with each other, as anyone would with hard work and no sleep but they all pulled together for the good of the town.

Oxford has 120 miles of roads and I travelled over all of it. Anywhere I rode I saw the product of a group of professionals who genuinely take their job seriously.

If I am to be criticized for having private roads or driveways plowed, so be it. I am ultimately responsible for the health and safety of all Oxford people and I take that responsibility very seriously. If someone called me and stated that they were elderly or had a medical issue, I responded and sent help.

I received some complaints but most people were very happy with the effort. The only time I got a little emotional was when I saw the signs on the town hall door that said, “Sandy Hook Loves Oxford.’’ That put our inconvenience in perspective for me.

- From Oxford First Selectman George Temple 


C. Thomas Tarby February 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Given the enormity of the task and my experience pushing snow in my "little" lot, the staff of the DPW should be given a medal or at least another weeks vacation for the herculean effort performed before, during and after that storm. Kudos!
Mary Beth Nelsen February 18, 2013 at 01:09 PM
I want to commend the DPW staff for their efforts. It was a blizzard! This is Connecticut- snow happens. Every once in awhile, a LOT of snow happens, and it takes time to remove it. I was stunned by the sniping- not just in Oxford, but all over CT. First responders slept at their firehouses to be sure they could get to emergencies, while most were snuggled safe in their beds. I suspect that the loudest critics are the same people who loudly criticize budgets and demand cuts to those same town services they expect to miraculously reappear when needed.
Rich Gee February 18, 2013 at 01:18 PM
We are in good hands. Nice job!
Arek Wenta February 18, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Nobody can criticize our DPW. We had, in my opinion, one of the best responses to the Storm. When I was out and about on the Sunday afterwards I was stunned at how poorly other towns were dealing. Especially considering we were among the hardest hit. Our guys at Oxford DPW can hold their heads high.
Bob February 18, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Great Job! Relatives in Bridgeport were plowed on Tuesday. Friends and family in Trumbull, Shelton and Meriden were plowed on Monday. By going all night in the teeth of the storm our crews were able to have roads open on Sunday. My wife had to get to the ER for work Sunday. Our street was ready. Thank You!
Connecticut Yankee February 18, 2013 at 02:30 PM
The Public Works employees did a good, if not great, job. The snow removal was handled logically - first clearing a lane so residents could get through if absolutely necessary, then widening the lanes as a second step, and finally doing the cleanup at intersections, etc. Considering the tremendous snowfall, I believe the town fared well greatly due to the Public Works employees. Thanks to all of them.
SteveW February 18, 2013 at 03:29 PM
I am one who vocally criticizes the way this town handles many (most) things. However, driving around on the Sunday after the storm I was incredibly impressed at how well the roads had been taken care of. There were many towns that received far less snow yet most of their roads went unplowed for days. Anybody who thought the response wasn't good enough must have some ridiculous sense of entitlement and is most likely impossible to please in any way.
Joe Blow February 18, 2013 at 03:43 PM
First, let me say as in every snow storm Oxfords public's works does a better job than most surrounding towns. This has always been the story from my observations of other towns after storms. Having said that, I do appreciate the personal sacrifices they may have made to accomplish this monumental task but I also realize this is their job and they are paid for this.
Sean Clancy February 18, 2013 at 04:30 PM
George Temple, I never imagined saying this after learning the election night returns but Oxford is blessed to have you. Whether it is providing leadership during our numerous storms or a vision for building a new elementary school & library, you are exactly what this community needed. You can count on votes from my wife and I in the next election.
AG February 18, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Hey Joe Blow - I disagree - other towns have PW crews that get paid and Oxford always looks better - because, yes, they get paid to do the job but they also CARE to do that job very well.
Joe Blow February 18, 2013 at 05:36 PM
@AG, Exactly what do you "disagree" with in my post? You said the same thing I said, lol.


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