Making change happen in city

When I read the article (Jan. 25) about a reminder to residents about their responsibility to remove snow from the sidewalks, I was quickly reminded of a phrase I was told many years ago stating that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.”‘

This brings me to question the value of that article. The storm that started after Christmas as well as our latest storm are great examples of this. I believe that our city still believes it can get by with the same “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

It took two weeks for the sidewalk plows to come through our neighborhoods. Were empty and abandoned properties taken care of? No. How about the city parks with adjacent sidewalks? No, again.

Now granted, I also believe that the community has become lax in the residents’ responsibilities but so has the city. We spent almost nothing, if anything last winter on snow removal, so why such a delay? The children were already back to school making the journey to and from very difficult yet we remind them that it is illegal to walk in the street.

The priority of every city should and must be the safety of the citizens without a dollar value put to it. So if they really want to clean up the city and start changing the habits of the citizens, the city must lead by example, then enforce it.

Difficult? Yes. Nothing worthwhile comes without great effort. If properties start receiving tickets for failure to shovel, you will see huge progress. There will be those who still won’t, or can’t but it will be highly recognizable.

If those two steps are not implemented, you will still have “insanity.” Otherwise, repeal the law.

While you are at it, start enforcing cars parked across the sidewalk, leash law – regardless of the training of a dog – and walking in the street under appropriate conditions. Then and only then can we stop the insanity. Change happens with me.

Jim Hatala is a Dunkirk resident.