Poor planning

Dear Editor:If the water barrel distribution [Saturday] was an example of emergency preparedness in Downey, thank God we did not have a disaster today. Poor planning and execution were evident. Obvious are the grossly inadequate barrel supply, absent traffic control, poor site selection causing conflict with neighboring activities, inadequate staffing and no communication with the sole person eventually assigned to redirecting the library parking lot traffic jam. The city should learn from people running hazardous waste collection or the National Guard. -- Gordon Lundene, Downey

Dear Editor: I am very disappointed with the recent water barrel giveaway. I give the idea a great grade of "A+". And I thank Coca-Cola for their donations. However, I give the distribution process a grade of "F." After reading the announcement in The Downey Patriot for the last two weeks, I decided to abide by the rules and show up no sooner than 8:30 a.m. and obtain a barrel by driving my car up to the point where it would be put in my car. When I got to the point of destination, there was already one line from the police parking lot stretching clear out in front of Embassy Suites on Firestone Boulevard. So I got in line and waited until the magic hour of 9 a.m. when the line started to move very slowly. After I moved up to the back of the Embassy Suites, I noticed that many had parked their cars in the various lots and were getting their barrels by hand and carrying them to their cars. Once more, I noticed that at that point there were only small barrels left for distribution. But I did not give up, although I needed a large barrel. I waited until I got to the point approximately in front of City Hall when I noticed that somewhere along in time, a second line was started and joining in at this point. This was quite unfair for all of those people in our first line. At this point, we, in the first line, were directed to break off our line and reroute to the end of the second line that formed after our line had formed. Well, at that point, I gave up and went home with no barrel. You should know by now that a lot of people thrive on bending the rules and getting by with what they think is their God-given right to items of interest far and above everyone else's. This is a shame but it is, in my opinion, the result of not teaching God-based respect of other people in our schools and homes. So, in the future, I hope [deputy city manager] Mark Sauter will get some dedicated people in charge of this thing. The providers should not give out barrels outside of a car or truck. There should be adequate line monitors to have one line so everyone has a fair chance. I would not have been disappointed nor disgruntled if all was fair and when I got to the distribution point they announced they were out of barrels. I would completely understand the situation. But the way it was handled was deplorable and despicable. There are so many improvements one could make in the name of fairness. Yes, and I do realize all things are not fair in this life, but most of us do try. -- Larry Drake, Downey

********** Published: September 2, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 20