Board to discuss snowplowing tomorrow… again!

dscn3362I’ve been receiving some emails and calls about the Board’s discussion on snowplowing last Tuesday.

Do you feel strongly about this county service (in support or otherwise)? Would you like to be heard by the Board? I’ve spoken out, now it’s your turn.

Unless there is a low snow, snowplowing is largely a District 3 concern.  Your testimony will help the Board better understand how it impacts you.  

The item is on the agenda again tomorrow and will be discussed between 9 am and noon in the Board Chambers on the 4th floor at 2 South Green Street in Sonora.

District Office Hours

Every month I hold office hours out in the District. Please stop by and say hello.

  • Thurs., Feb. 12 at the Twain Harte Community Services District from 10-11:30,
  • Fri., Feb. 20 at the Mi-Wuk Village Library from 1-2:30 pm, and
  • Weds., Mar. 4 at the Tuolumne Memorial Museum from 10-11:30.

District office hours are a great opportunity to sit down and talk about your concerns in an unhurried and local setting.

12 thoughts on “Board to discuss snowplowing tomorrow… again!

  1. I have lived in the 'snow' district since '65, owned a snowblower all of that time. I have only complained about county snowplowing once, and that was because it was a week with the county road not plowed in front of my house, lots of low snow that time and all the plows went west to clear Jamestown Up, NOT Strawberry Down. The county does a great job, I plow snow at my job, I know what it takes. I don't mind when after I have cleared my drive and the plow goes by and leaves a fresh berm, that's the way it goes. That driver has no other option and can't go around, not plow the road, he is clearing the road the only way he can. The daylight option is OK with me, but when weekend storms come we still need to get to work and even with chains can't get out until the county plows. We need the plows, why punish us for where we live, should we dam all the streams so no water goes downhill to the city? Then they would be punished for where they live, low county with no water.


  2. I have been delighted over the past few days that the operator in our area apparently is checking where there are cars parked in driveways and turns his blade to 'berm' the snow on the unoccupied side of the street. Maybe that is just a new operator, or are they being asked to do that? Either way, it sure helps an eighty-year-old guy with a cracked vertabrae! Thanks, and please let them know that they are appreciated!


  3. Excellent! That is a good report, Fritz. I think the Department is truly making an increased effort to do what they can to make it better for us without compromising the need to cover A LOT of ground in a day.

    I was out with the Road Supervisor on Friday – there was a ton of snow from Sonora to the high country – it was a zoo, but they did a great job from 4 am to 6 pm with cars all over the road, equipment breakdowns, and other snafus.

    Thanks, Fritz. I'll pass on your appreciation!


  4. Hi,Teri,
    Last week at the board meeting, I decided not to comment on the snowplowing, as it seems that some situations are improving, and Barry Bynum had explained that my suggestion may not be feasible, depending on the size of the plow.
    What I had beenplanning to suggest could be a win-win situation: When a driveway has obviously been cleared, the plow driver could just turn the blade a little and carry the load to the other side of the driveway. I don't care how high he piles it on the downhill side, just so he doesn't dump half a block's load in our driveway– especially when we're standing there exhausted from chipping out blocks of ice from the previous load. Barry said that with some plows, the load would be too heavy to turn the blade and keep picking up snow for an extra 8 feet before dumping it unless it's a pickup. Barry is a friend and a knowledgable, hard-working guy, so don't construe this anything but information on our conversation. I had thought it would be a win-win situation because I didn't think the plow would have to slow down, and the homeowners could get a break.


    1. Thanks for showing up to the Board meeting where this was discussed, Nancy! It does appear that there is greater awareness on the part of the public that the crews are working hard and on the part of the crews that the public has some needs they can help with and still get the job done quickly and professionally. For my part, I am grateful to Barry for an enlightening snowy afternoon on the streets of District 3. We saw and heard some incredible things on the radio – things that they deal with every time it snows. I’ll be blogging about that soon. It’s disappointing that some of the plows can’t turn to avoid a berm, but on the other hand it’s encouraging that some of them can! Thanks again!


  5. Hi Terri! I am discouraged to see the elimination of Planning Committee slots. It was always a pleasure to chair that committee and to hear from such an excellent variety of folks. HPC is about OUR culture and AG is about all of us.


    1. Good to hear from you, Laurie. There is a rumor going around that because we reduced the size of the Board of Supervisors Planning Committee, historic and agricultural interests will not be protected or advanced. That couldn’t be further from the truth. As Chair last year and again this year, I also enjoy hearing from the variety of folks and will insure that everyone attending has plenty of opportunity to ask questions of staff and comment before the Committee. Rather than vote, the Committee operates through consensus and that seems to be working well. It is true that historic and agricultural interests were removed from formal standing due to the size of the Committee, the amount of time it was taking to process draft policies and issues, and due to the fact that no other special interests had representation on it. But again, we’ll interact with anyone who cares to show up and tell us their perspective. Stop by and check it out sometime – I think you would enjoy this Committee, as well!


  6. Today, Mar 4, 2009, I witnessed several county plows at around 7:45 doing some clean up at the intersection of N. Tuolumne Rd. and Hwy 108 when many roads in Twain Harte had not been plowed. It would seem that priorities need to be adjusted. I have also noticed that on many occasions plows go back over roads that have been plowed, just to get an extra few inches of road plowed – this seems unnecessary when other roads still haven't been plowed. This isn't the first time this has happened.


    1. John via Teri:

      This is a common complaint. The reason they spend time on the highway intersection is purely safety driven. That is where a lot of the accidents occur if we do not spend the extra time. This is due to the large number of cars that access/egress the highway at that location, so we get a lot of safety benefit for a little amount of time spent.

      Peter Rei
      Director of Public Works
      County of Tuolumne


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