Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Fire County Manager Donnellan, Replace 'Emergency Preparedness' Staff
After talking with hundreds of miserable residents who were stuck in stifling homes, apartments, and condos without power for days (some still don't have power) we conclude it's time for Arlington County manager Barbara Donnellan to go. Also time to replace Arlington's top 'emergency preparedness' staff.
Like most other Arlington Government executives Barbara Donnellan lives far from Arlington and does not, and will not, suffer the consequences of her failures.
Despite massive damage to power lines from downed trees (largely caused by the County's lack of an adequate tree maintenance program) County Government was on its usual summer weekend schedule from 5 PM Friday night to 8 AM Monday morning. A few crews were out picking up downed tree limbs.
About half of Arlington's population suffered extreme heat misery until the crescendo of complaints caused County Government to expedite power restoration.
It's unconscionable that, after spending $14 million for a new emergency communications center several years ago, for 911 emergency calls to not go through. And every year Arlington receives hundreds of thousands more in grants for communications upgrades from Homeland Security.
It's unconscionable that seniors had to suffer for days in senior apartment complexes without air conditioning, when the National Guard Readiness Center for the entire USA is located 1/2 mile away.
We saw this behavior before from County Government, last Fourth of July when a severe storm hit the Palisades and the year before that, when another severe storm hit Fairlington.
Enough is enough. Barbara Donnellan has got to go, along with Arlington's so-called 'emergency preparedness' staff.
Believe it or not, we were lucky. We advised everyone struck without power and air conditioning to pack up the pets and whatever food that could be salvaged and visit family and friends, or go on vacation. Not a big deal on June 30th.
But what happens if there's a major league ice storm on December 30th and power goes out for days? Think about it.