Friday, February 21, 2014

Weathering the Storm

Dear Malden Residents, 

As I type my blog for February's E-Newsletter, I can't help but hope that we have seen the last of the snow.   

Despite the 50 plus inches we have received this winter, I have seen no quit in the response of our staff in responding to what seems like a never ending snowstorm. As a matter of fact, I have seen them not only respond but work to get better.

This is true thanks in large part to DPW Director Bob Knox. I have nicknamed him the Terminator because he does not stop at addressing as many of the issues that come his way. It does not matter the hour of the day or night, Mr. Knox tries to help as much as he humanly can. I also must compliment his wife Marianne as it’s not easy on her with two little kids to have to listen to her husband deal with me on an hourly basis.

I also can’t forget to thank the men and women of the Department of Public Works as they have given 100 percent during recent storms. I am also grateful for the work of our Emergency Management team, Permits, Inspections and Planning and Compliance. It has been all hands on deck in an effort to help as many of our residents and businesses as possible.

Another facet of responding to winter storms has been Police Chief Kevin Molis and Captain Glenn Cronin. Together, they have worked with the men and women of their department to enforce the rules in effect during declared snow emergencies. Their response has made it better for the DPW to plow and safer for first responders to travel in the event of an emergency situation.

Another new feature that has been added to our operation is a dedicated crew of sidewalk plows. We realize that a number of our residents are walking to and from Malden Center and other places in our community so we have worked immediately after the recent storms to clear as many of our sidewalks as possible. It’s an extra cost but in my opinion, it’s offset by improving pedestrian safety.

Something else we added is keeping the Bike Path clear of snow during the winter. On average, this will cost us approximately $500 per storm. We have received positive feedback from residents since many folks are using the path year round to get to and from their destinations. We are pleased to be assisting them by offering this new practice.

The last facet in responding to each storm is to educate residents and when needed, issue citations to those properties that don’t clear a path as required by ordinance. This emphasis is working slowly, but surely as Chris Webb, Director of Code Enforcement along with the Police Department and the Compliance Bureau report that they are seeing more and more people following the ordinance.

Proof that things are getting better in how we respond to snowstorms came during the most recent storm when at the height of the snow, someone contacted us asking how they might dispose of a microwave oven! Thank you for your patience as we continue to work on providing better service to you. Believe me, I realize it’s been a long winter but hang in there, spring is on the way!




  1. I agree that the DPW has done a great job this winter. The storms never seem to stop but Malden's streets have been passable throughout. Thanks to everyone for efforts above and beyond during this difficult winter.

  2. I also want to share my kudos for a job well done, DPW! Overall, I think they've done a good job in clearing streets in a timely manner. As a train commuter, I also appreciate the clearing of stairways/sideways at the Oak Grove station. Also, the SeeClickFix mobile app makes it so easy to submit a ticket to address potholes, sidewalk shoveling, etc.

    Too often, we only take time to air complaints, but DPW and the City of Malden truly has done a good job. So thank you!!

  3. Thank You Gary! You have an amazing team. Bob Knox and his staff have been wonderful up here on Lebanon St.

    Again Thank You for a Lovely Job on this City

  4. I think Mr. Knox is one truly hard working man. I have e-mailed him from time to time about issues I have seen and he gets the job done quick and e-mails me right back.
    They do not come any better than Mr. Knox. I want to thank him for a job well done,
    as I have in the past.

  5. Thank you so much Mayor Christenson and Mr. Knox. It has been a tough winter, and I appreciate all the hard work you and the rest of the Malden team have done to make it safe for us to travel.

  6. I understand the difficulty keeping up with cleaning snow after seversl storms, but something new in front of Malden High concerns me. If you were to get of an MBTA bus in front lf the high school, the sidewalk isn't plowed. It used to be cleared to the curb whenever it snowed, but no more. Every student getting off the bus must walk on ice and snow to get to the narrow path in front of the school. This isnt a fluke either, because I take the bus home from work and dread that bus stop because I'm terrified of slipping on the icy mess. Frankly, I'm shocked that any sidewalk in front of any school wouldnt be cleaned to the pavement

  7. It is nice to that Bob Knox, be complimented on a public forum. Bob and "his crew" should be congratulated for jobs well done this winter. A Malden resident for over 40 years, we had an issue this last storm. My husband had shoveled all the snow off the sidewalks after our latest storm. The snow was extremely heavy and their was no way he could have done it again to be in City compliance. A contractor plow put all the snow back on the sidewalk and then some. After a phone call by my son in-law to Bob Knox the matter was taken care of during the middle of the night. As a tax payer, it is important to know, our concerns are addressed and that we have City Officials that care about issues we may have. Bob's response and reaction to rectify the problem should be an action for the entire Malden Team to adhere too...He is certainly an asset to the City.

  8. Kudos to all the staff responsible for clearing up the streets.. We had our street always clean this winter.