When your local government is functioning efficiently and effectively, most of the time you won’t even notice it. You have regular garbage removal; buses stop to pick up passengers; fire trucks occasionally zip past you to assist in an emergency; and the parks and libraries are open for public use.
However, there are rare occasions when the public becomes acutely aware of just how reliant we all are on a local government we can trust; and at no time is that more apparent than in a state of emergency.
When news of Hurricane Irma became omnipresent following the Labor Day holiday, Sarasota County residents were preoccupied with buying water and flashlights if they planned to stay in town, or finding airline tickets, hotel reservations, or even just fuel, if they decided to evacuate. As the week progressed, choices began to dwindle. Residents shared their respective plights on social media – “flights are booked,” “tickets are over $500,” “now the hurricane is heading to Atlanta,” “the entire state is in the cone of uncertainty,” and “filling stations are out of gas.” [Read more…]