Posting leads to plowing

City of Elgin (Ill.) communicates through Facebook to address winter maintenance concerns

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Bill Wilson is the editorial director of ROADS & BRIDGES magazine and has been covering the industry since 1999. He has won seven Robert F. Boger Awards for editorial excellence, including three in 2011. He also was the creator of the Top 10, Contractor's Choice Awards and Recycling Awards platforms, as well as ROADS & BRIDGES Live.

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I think Facebook is the bubbly sibling of Twitter. I know I am not alone with this characterization. In the social media world, LinkedIn is the serious and overachieving oldest sibling, Twitter is the quick and to-the-point child and then there is Facebook--certainly not an underachiever, but not a leader-type either. Mark Zuckerberg's creation, however, might be finally starting to mature.
I was about to dump a pile of criticism of the city of Elgin's (Ill.) snow-clearing efforts. Under new direction--Mayor David Kaptain was recently elected following a long run by Ed Shock--my town was off to an auspicious start in 2012. New fees and higher taxes were just implemented, and many Elginites were on edge. Then came the first and second major snows of the season, and all the ill feelings came pouring out.
The street I live on has odd-even parking, a measure that was installed to help aid in leaf collection and winter maintenance activities. Under Shock's rule following a measurable snow, plows would clear the side of the street that was free of parked cars, then come back the next day to clear the other side. Through two flake-fighting events, Kaptain did not appear to be upholding to the same standard. Plows would come through once and leave a path down the middle of the road. There was no return. So I was ready to start slinging some serious slush.
Then Facebook made a surprise intervention. One of my neighbors posted how disappointed he was of the snow-maintenance activities. In fact, he called it the worst performance in his 30+ years of existence in Elgin. I could not agree more, and added venom to the thread. Then City Manager Sean Stegall entered the Facebood fray, and asked for my address. Shortly after I responded a snow plow showed up on my street. After making one pass, the truck backed up and cleared again right in front of my house.
I'm still not convinced Elgin's new leadership is committed to effectively melting the problems off my street, and I am still not convinced Facebook has grown into an effective social media tool. However, the little brother is starting to show some responsibility.

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