An alternate world, how it could work: Two local governments with profound interest in streets, roads. Their shared concern: public welfare. Big winter storm. Unprecedented. Govt X or Y calls Govt Y or X: How can we help you with this? Collaboration. Long-set plans and policies go into action, amplified by extra support. New solutions for new problems, special needs.
Meanwhile, on XYZ Street, neighbors with snow blowers go way beyond their own frontage. Amplified by others who take shifts. Amplified by cans of donated fuel. Amplified by thank-yous, cookies. Those with shovels ignore property lines. Party atmosphere caused by group efforts to rescue slide-offs.
Big Winter Storm abates. Leaders of X and Y express public gratitude for each other’s extraordinary efforts. Recognize vast numbers of citizens with Spirit-of-the-West mutual aid values in action. Thank 3 a.m. snowplow brigade.
Govts X and Y get together. Examine storm from several angles: What went well, what didn’t. Lessons learned. What money was well-spent, what not so much. What other extreme events might be in our future. How best to augment policies, plans, budgets — and citizen education — for future public welfare. If this be climate change, let us change together.
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Susan M. Stacy, Boise