An Open Letter to the Town of Chillicothe Government

The following is an open letter from Guardian editor Derek Myers to the Chillicothe town administration. The letter itself does not reflect the views of The Guardian or Guardian staff.

Council members, Mayor Feeney and Director Carman:

I am writing this open letter in the hope of change. I’m not quick to complain. I always try to find a solution on my own before bringing other resources.


I realize we have had a lot of wintry weather this week and it has wreaked havoc on many parts of the region. However, I have serious concerns about the way things are run in the city.

I rode 300 miles yesterday through three states, all of which were affected by the same storm we had here in Chillicothe. The roads varied depending on geographic location, but it became clear to me when I got home that Chillicothe had a flaw. I don’t know where this flaw is, but it is obvious that there is one. I won’t point fingers, but what I do know is that the administration has the ability to identify and fix the fault.

The roads are full of melting snow. Again, I realize we had a winter storm, but other cities that have had this same system have done a phenomenal job of keeping their roads constantly clear. A passage on Yoctangee Parkway is not enough. Crews must approach the main roads every hour. It would seem that the solution is simple: place a plow blade closer to the sidewalk and make passes every hour on a route, but I am not an expert in this area.


I understand that the volume of snow (which turns into slush) can be a problem. The space to “move it” may be limited. Currently, I don’t see that being the problem with this storm. It just seems to be ignored and that is unacceptable. Future storms could be such a volume issue and I hope to see all the city’s resources at work if that happens.

I am extremely frustrated with the lack of care and attention that the administration gives to the roads of the city. This defect is apparent and easily repairable. Should we change the type of salt we use? Do we need to lower or sharpen the plow blades to make a cleaner pass? Or, more simply, should the person in charge of these decisions be replaced?

Let’s be clear: I have respect for the drivers who do the snow removal work. I’m sure they are doing their best and leaving their families in dangerous conditions. The problem is not the drivers. The problem is administrative. The direction and supervision of the drivers is apparently lacking.

The slush that remains in front of the post office, on the main roads and main streets is unacceptable. This is the third day of this storm. Other towns had no problem returning their “passes” and itineraries in a timely manner. Why are we? It’s no longer frozen ice. It’s just neglected slush.

I hope you will help me identify the fault and fix it. I will not go another winter like this.

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