We are going full speed ahead into the Fall season here in Alaska. In the blink of an eye, we transition from summer to winter. Now, in just a few short weeks, all the leaves will fall from the trees and morning frost will appear on the windows. Our first few inches of snow usually falls on Halloween and continues until early April. In Valdez, along with the snow, we also have many sunny cold days perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing on our miles of groomed trails. I’m always happy to share that the majority of Alaskans don’t live off the grid as depicted on “reality” television shows. My city is fully equipped to remove large amounts of snow from all of our city streets within a short period of time. A snowstorm which dumps one to two feet of snow overnight is definitely going to be work to remove from my car, but as I clear my windshield, our city snow removal crews have already plowed and graded the majority of our streets prior to my drive to work in the morning. The secret to such efficient snow removal is the requirement that every subdivision must dedicate a certain number of lots for snow storage. Our city crew grades the majority of the snow into the center of the street and a large vacant dedicated lot, clearing our streets in a short time. When I’m asked how I can possibly get through Alaska winters, I have to laugh at the reality show depiction of trudging through waste deep snow to bring in wood to heat the house and checking the trap line to feed the family. So, thank you, for indulging me this opportunity to share facts about my city and state.
I’m excited to write about the progress of developing a “Beyond the MMC” learning opportunity for Municipal Clerks.