Md. lawmaker criticizes snow removal in Annapolis

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller hurled a verbal snowball at the city of Annapolis on Tuesday morning, criticizing what he called the municipality's "disgraceful" efforts to clear icy and slippery roads.

Annapolitans, he said, "should have better treatment from their elected officials."

"This is a high-end city," he said. "It is a very wealthy city. What was good in the 1700s is not acceptable."

The weekend blizzard left snowdrifts in Annapolis that reached 33 inches, said a spokesman. An official tally of the storm's accumulation has not yet been released because of measuring errors.

Miller said he almost got stuck Monday evening on Duke of Gloucester Street, which he labeled "a main artery." He said 3-inch ridges of ice clogged Market Street.

Miller did not blame newly elected Annapolis Mayor Joshua Cohen - whom he said he likes - for the mess, but instead pointed to the city's institutional inertia.

"This city is stuck in a time warp," Miller said. "They believe the only snow removal is the sun. When the sun doesn't come out, the citizens are greatly inconvenienced."

Phillip McGowan, a spokesman for Cohen, acknowledged that many of the city's residents are "frustrated by the circumstances."

"Quite frankly, we do not have the capacity to handle an event of this size," McGowan said. He called the storm a "once-in-a-lifetime" event.

He said the city has spent $200,000 clearing snow this year, greatly exceeding the $80,000 budgeted.

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