Basically, you’re on your own, weather or not

TUESDAY, NOV. 22, 2011

Once again, global warming has been a complete bust and winter is already beginning to afflict our Windblown Empire in the form of ice, slush and those annoying flakes.

Speaking of city officials, Spokane is about to become more prepared than ever for winter just as soon as council members pass my realistic redraft of the their current Snow Removal Plan.

What makes my snow job so superior, you ask?


My plan, which I spent literally minutes on, is the first document to give residents a complete and detailed picture of exactly how their city government will fail them.

Letting citizens know what incompetence they’re facing will save us taxpayers a lot of money, too.

The savings will come in lower legal damages awarded to citizens who, say, couldn’t get to work or to the hospital after some demon plow driver blocked the driveway with Everest-sized glaciers.

So don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Stage 1 Snow Emergency

This is not triggered by actual snowy buildup.

Stage 1 is triggered when TV weathercasters point excitedly to a giant Doppler radar storm blob that is slowly undulating its way toward Spokane.

“White Stuff!” they will scream.

At this signal …

• A fleet of tow trucks will be immediately dispatched to Browne’s Addition with orders to “haul away every parked car, truck and motor scooter in sight.”

• Vehicles will be imprisoned in a police impound lot at $77.50 an hour.

• All impound fees will be used to augment the city’s Bad Cop Defense Fund.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Stage 1 will be canceled in the event that the aforementioned Doppler blob turns out to be sweater fuzz off Tom Sherry, Kris Crocker or George Maupin.

Stage 2 Snow Emergency

This stage is confirmed when one inch of snow covers the dapper hat topping the Bing Crosby statue at Gonzaga University.

At that point …

• The city’s fleet of snowplows will be sent to immediately scrape the driveways of the mayor and City Council members.

• After completing the mission, snowplow drivers can return to base, file for overtime and take the next two days off.

Stage 3 Snow Emergency

Also known as “Snomageddon,” this is the unthinkable “all is lost” moment that usually comes right before holidays or during labor disputes.

At this point the city plow wranglers will call in sick and stop scraping. After that, the snow will just keep piling and piling and …

• Spokane residents may dial the City Hall Snow Complaint Hotline, where they will be put on hold and forced to listen to a continuous background loop of Johnny Mathis singing “Winter Wonderland.”

• Spokane residents may also go online to, where they can look at a map of all the city neighborhoods that aren’t being plowed.

• The website also features helpful tips for the snowbound, like “Coping With Cabin Fever” and “101 Recipes for Eating Your Pets.”

So good luck, and happy shoveling from the city of Spokane!

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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