Mayor Adrian Fenty didn’t pass on the opportunity today to talk about the city’s snow removal prowess following an impressive looking, but wimpy, storm that briefly covered the city’s streets. After all, he’d heard enough complaints about the city’s performance during the last storm.
After briefing reporters on the city’s successful snow removal efforts, Fenty took the show down to the Kennedy Recreation Center in Shaw, where he was scheduled to shovel some sidewalks. It was an irresistible shot for the TV new hounds, which despite peeling off layers and driving on dry streets were still on full storm-watcher mode.
But when LL arrived at about 10:30 a.m. the walk and steps at the front of the building were dry and salted. The staff had to intentionally leave some slush out back around the basketball court for the mayor, and that show was quickly melting. Staff at the rec center told LL that they would have had it cleared hours ago if not for the staged mayoral clearing.
When Fenty arrived in his black overcoat, gloves and fedora, he quickly got to work pushing an ergonomically correct day-glo-orange shovel. “This is good exercise,” the mayor noted, as he sloshed through the slop using the bulldozer technique. From the peanut gallery, one maintenance worker advised the mayor to “bend your knees a little more so you won’t hurt your back.” The mayor assured the crowd that he knew how to handle a shovel. “I’ve been doing this since I was nine years old,” he shot back. The mayor cleared and salted a 20-foot stretch of sidewalk in about three minutes.
Fenty was ostensibly at the rec center to clarify resident’s role in snow removal—-a task being performed quite well by the warming trend. “Everyone has to shovel their own sidewalk,” says the mayor, who said that he personally cleared the snow at his Crestwood home.
The mayor’s stunt was appreciated by Kennedy staffer Donald Felder, who usually handles the shoveling duties. “We’re going to let him do all he wants,” said Felder. “If he wants to get the baseball season started early, we’ve got a whole field under snow out there.”