Shep Harris’s Pointlessness

July 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm 1 comment

By Andrew Richter

When it comes to a pointless article…..Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris takes the cake;

Golden Valley continues to recover from the powerful storms of June 20-22, which ripped through the west metro area. Nearly half of Golden Valley residents and businesses lost electricity, enduring the longest power outage in decades. Many basements, streets and even Brookview Golf Course were flooded.  Hundreds of trees were uprooted, scattered about our city streets and parks; damaging numerous homes. Fortunately, there were no fatalities or significant injuries to report; only inspiring stories of neighbors sharing generators, working together to clean up tree-littered properties, and even setting up an impromptu charging station for the passerby whose cell phone battery was low on power.

OK so far nothing new…..

Golden Valley staff also displayed a quick and impressive response. For example, Fire and Police Departments answered more than 54 calls in the first 24 hour period of downed power lines and tripped alarm systems. Public Works staff worked overtime to clear trees from roads and parks, set up a city-wide temporary tree debris drop-off site and curbside pick-up schedule, and most importantly, averted the worst water emergency in city history. The Joint Water Commission, consisting of Crystal, New Hope and Golden Valley, receive water from the Mississippi River via the City of Minneapolis.

Again what is the point? Golden Valley police and fire displayed a quick response? Isn’t that their job? Should it have been slower?

But power was knocked out to the Golden Valley water reservoir pump and our back-up generator was down for repairs. The “fail-safe” was the Crystal water pump until the water main line, which runs under the City of Robbinsdale, unexpectedly burst creating a significant sinkhole on Broadway Avenue. Our Public Works staff, Xcel Energy and Ziegler Construction swiftly responded and repaired the generator with 30 minutes to spare before all three cities were left without any water for a number of days if not longer.

With so much effort and determination, Golden Valley has shown its resiliency over the past few weeks. The water infrastructure has been completely restored and all city programs and services are functioning normally, including use of Brookview Golf Course. The tree debris drop-off site proved very effective and the one-time curbside tree pick-up program is almost complete.

Now folks does it not sound to you like this mayor is trying to take credit for all this?

But there is still more work to be done. Golden Valley will be convening a meeting of state and local leaders from neighboring cities with Xcel Energy and the Public Utilities Commission to discuss the layout of the area’s grid system, Xcel’s outage response process, and what steps can be taken by cities to make such a process move more quickly in the future.

Right…..big government to the rescue!

This storm was debilitating to many in Golden Valley but our collective response to the storm speaks to our strength as a city. Thank you to neighbors who helped each other in time of need and to city staff for their well-orchestrated response to this storm. We have collectively learned many valuable lessons from this storm but I am confident that we will be even better prepared the next time this type of severe weather affects our community.

Pointless article….totally pointless


Entry filed under: City Government, Environment, Golden Valley.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. wants2know  |  July 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Not if you are setting the stage for a major water project like Guy Mueller was pitching during his campaign for council. It’s already on the drawing board somewhere. This is preparation for supplying all the new high density development that has been or shortly will be permitted. Just my 2 cents


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