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Bertha Vs. the unsung heroes of the Richmondville Road Crew
Okay,  with these letter Bertha is only kidding.  These are for entertainment purposes only

Hero is way too easy of a word to throw around
     Now first off, let me begin by stating that I appreciate a plowed and sanded road just as much as the next person, and the thought of our bold, brave local road crews out there plowing and scraping away at ice and snow and other unsafe road conditions, just warms the cockles of my heart.  But to call them heroes?  Come on.   Letís not get carried away here.
     These people are simply public servants performing a job for which they are paid.  Mawkishly lionizing them as though they were some fleet of caped Supermen protecting us from on high, not only  embarrasses the road crews themselves, but everyone else as well.  Itís absolutely ludicrous.
Whatís next?  Are Times Journal readers going to be writing letters professing our profound debt to dogcatchers and garbagemen?  I can see this becoming a nuisance fast.  
     Besides Iím not so sure I would agree that the towns road crews are so terrific.  I can recall countless snowy nights, watching the snow and ice accumulate on the road, while plow trucks were nowhere to be found.   And Iíve driven on Route Seven plenty of times, when I probably wouldíve gotten where I was going faster with a sled and a pack of dogs.  Screaming to myself "Where are these lazy bums"?  or "what am I paying taxes for"?  See Iím not ashamed of this.  Because the road crew is like any other  public service.  Theyíre not above public scrutiny.    When they knock a mailbox into a ditch, whether accidentally or not, they should be forced to offer a prompt apology and replace it at their own expense.  Last weeks letter by Elizabeth Whitbeck suggests that we ought to excuse such destructive behavior.  Yeah?  What if it were one of our pets or children that they knocked into the ditch?  Would it then be so easy to excuse them?  I think not.    
     Ms.  Whitbeck further praises our local road crews for sanding and plowing the sites of accidents to make it "safe for rescue crews to get to the site and help those in need."  Well gee, maybe if the local road crews were doing their jobs and had plowed the road like they were supposed to, there likely would not have been an accident in the first place.  Hello.  
     Now donít get me wrong, I have nothing against municipal road crews, like I said theyíre performing a public service, and the taxes that we pay compensate them fairly, I simply object to making heroes out of them.  Hero is a word we throw around all too liberally these days.  If we can apply the title to a local road crew heck we can apply it to anyone.   And thatís simply not right.   Until our road crews start donning a cape and purple tights and fly around fighting crime, theyíre simply public servants.   Get over it.

                                             Bertha Hann

As I'm sure you've assumed, this letter provoked quite a response.  Many letters were written in anger, but only two were articulate enough to warrant a serious response.  Check it out.  

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Ok, that one was a little weak, but the next one is much better.   

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Hmm, someone finally getting the last word with Bertha Hann?  Don't count on it.  

Hann Responds
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