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Dispute Ensues Over Snow Removal In Watertown

January 8, 2013, 9:52 PM by Stephanie Gregory

Dispute Ensues Over Snow Removal In Watertown
Mayor Gary Williams

WATERTOWN, SD -

Watertown Mayor Gary Williams stayed quiet through most of Watertown's Public Works meeting Tuesday afternoon until the issues of snow removal took center stage.  But it was a very different scene than what played out during Monday's city council meeting.

Monday, City Council President Steve Thorson asked Williams why the roads were not plowed after a winter storm in early December.

Williams: I think you're mixing up emergencies with the need to go to the convenience store to by a 20-pack of beer.
Thorson: No, no, not at all. What about the doctor who needs to get to work and he doesn't have a 4-wheel drive?
Williams: We'll get him to work!
Thorson: And he'll give you a call? I doubt it.

After the meeting was closed, Williams allegedly waved a finger at Thorson and called him an obscene name before leaving. Tuesday, Williams said it's all part of the irritation that the roads were not taken care of.

"I think there is a lot of frustration from some of our citizens and some of our council members because of the freezing rain and the inability and the length of time it's taken for us to get that ice removed from the streets," Williams said.

Williams says when it's his call to plow snow-filled roads, he puts safety first.

"It's hard to make everybody happy.  My number one concern is making sure the people that are working for the city are safe," Williams said.

Part of the focus of Tuesday's Public Works meeting was to find better ways to clear roads after snow storms so disputes like this don't happen again.

Thorson was not available for comment.

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