Former Binghamton Public Works Chief Apologizes
The just-dismissed Commissioner of Public Works for Binghamton has apologized to city residents who were snowbound for too long in the aftermath of the big storm.
Terry Kellogg, in a letter to news organizations, said he wanted to extend his "sincerest apology" to those who were adversely affected by roads that were not cleared quickly enough.
Kellogg and deputy commissioner Jon Yeager were fired Wednesday by Mayor Richard David in the wake of complaints about snow removal operations.
Kellogg said he decided to respond to the mayor after hearing comments he made to reporters during a City Hall news conference.
The former commissioner said the public works department's snow removal capabilities were impaired by "far fewer employees" and larger plow trucks than in the past due to fiscal constraints facing the city.
Kellogg also said "abnormally high numbers of employees" didn't report to work during the last week's storm.
Kellogg criticized the mayor's decision to lift a State of Emergency and travel ban early Wednesday morning. He said the move was done without consultation with the public works administrators.
Kellogg said he had provided David with a list of additional snow removal equipment the city needed to clear streets after the storm. He said although he wanted the request sent to the county emergency operations center, the mayor advised him to "hold off on these requests."
Kellogg also maintained that more than a year ago, he advised the mayor of deficiencies in the public works department's workforce, equipment and training.
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