How Public Officials Should Handle Mistakes


The excerpt below from the Montreal Gazette illustrates the proper way for public officials to handle making a mistake – admit it, adapt and move on.

The city of Montreal, which intended to let the past week’s snowfall melt, has now reversed it’s (sic) decision and will start clearing streets Sunday evening. 

The head of snow removal, Jean-François Parenteau announced the reversal on Saturday.

Parenteau explained the change because of cooler temperatures. The decision not to clear the snow was a bad choice on his part and he apologized.

A snow removal operation costs an average of $1 million per borough. The City of Montreal has carried out four clearing operations since the beginning of winter.

The snow budget of $160 million makes it possible to make five per winter.

However, the decision not to clear the snow but let it melt is one with which I, as a 90% pedestrian, abhor. The snow melts under the wheels of vehicles no doubt. The resulting slushy swamps and pools of filthy water end up being splattered hither and yon, making sidewalk navigation a royal pain.

I understand the savings, but there has to be a way to convince drivers that it is not acceptable to ignore pedestrians on sidewalks as they plow through the slop, drenching folks as they walk. There was a time when drivers, those with an inkling of common decency,  took this into consideration and would slow down, to a crawl if necessary. But I fear those days are long gone.

So thank you M Parenteau for doing the right thing!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+


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