A contrite sounding Tom Timm, Vancouver's General Manager of Engineering, spoke on Global TV news tonight (video link opens pop-up window) about the City's widely criticized snow response. In his statement he admits the city could have had a better response, while noting that major thoroughfares were mostly well attended during the storms.
We tip our hat to Mr. Timm, who is regarded as one of Vancouver's most competent managers. Tom went on TV today to take the hit for the whole establishment. There was no sign of Laurie Best in front of the cameras, to explain why City Hall's communications went dark for nine days during the winter storms.
While City staff have undertaken an internal review of Vancouver's underwhelming weather response, Council has not yet offered to conduct a public meeting to hear from citizens on the subject.
Seniors and shut-ins endured the most during Snowmageddon, finding themselves captives in their homes for nearly three weeks. Between December 24th and January 2nd the City failed to communicate to citizens any of their transportation or service advisories, or provide any contingencies for people cut off by snow and ice. It was noted by CityCaucus.com that neighbouring Seattle remained in constant contact with citizens over the Christmas break.
Unlike Corporate Communications, engineering kept the ploughs and salt trucks running during the holidays, albeit with skeleton staff.