City deconstructs ice storm and its aftermath

The city faced a major chore in cleaning up after the ice storm and the subsequent two storms that dropped more than a foot and a half of snow.

As with any large undertaking, be it military or civil, a debriefing was needed. The city had such a debriefing this past week, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said.

In deconstructing the city’s response to the sequence of storms, department heads agreed the city did a good job with both internal communication and in communicating with Public Services of New Hampshire, Lozeau said.

Still, areas that could be made better were identified, including gathering and disseminating information to the public, Lozeau said.

“It was not lost on any of us that we cannot rely solely on electronic means to get information out,” she said.

Most of the residents who called City Hall were patient and understanding that the city couldn’t immediately address their needs, given the magnitude of the storms, Lozeau said.

“What they appreciated the most was a real voice on the phone when they called,” she said.

The mayor praised the work of police, fire, school and public works divisions, and especially of Dave Fredette, the city treasurer/tax collector, who was asked to also serve as interim public works director.

Years ago, Fredette served as the DPW business manager. When he was appointed interim director, Lozeau said she expected him to manage well and give the job “everything he had.”

But in serving during these crises, Fredette earned the respect of staff and “exceeded my already high expectations,” Lozeau said.

Ward 4 Alderman Marc Plamondon described Fredette as “the wearer of two hats who is serving above and beyond the call of duty.”