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As my office continues to watch the winter weather that is now upon us, I want to thank you for your diligence, and for working with your staff to keep the lines of communication open. I appreciate your flexibility and allowing staff to utilize their vacation, personal, or compensatory banks, should they experience child care challenges due to school closures or be uncomfortable traveling in these conditions.
Currently, the weather models are indicating approximately 3-5 inches of snow here in Washtenaw County, with bitter cold and heavy winds that will likely create blowing and drifting across roadways. While the snow accumulations are not as significant as originally predicted, the blowing and drifting will most certainly create challenges later this afternoon and into tomorrow morning’s commute.
While these conditions do not warrant an early closure today, I’ll ask you to be understanding with your staff as it pertains to requests to leave early. Many of our employees drive upwards of an hour to get to and from their work location, and I do know that those communities to the north of us are expecting more snow than we’re receiving here in Washtenaw County. Road Commissions are doing their best to keep our roadways safe and clear, but again, patience and caution are necessary. I know you will be supportive of the decisions your staff make regarding their commutes, as their safety, health and well-being is paramount.
I will ask, should your service delivery be impacted as a result of staff choosing to utilize leave time to go home for the day, please advise me directly and then post relevant information on your departmental website and social media; such as how to reschedule appointments, what time you anticipate resuming normal operating hours and what to do in the event of an emergency. We are the safety net here in Washtenaw County, and as such, must immediately inform our consumers of any changes to our office hours that may have an impact on them.
Regarding the possibility of a late start tomorrow morning, and then the sub-zero temperatures expected on Wednesday, I will be monitoring both of those situations closely, and keep you updated as I make my decisions on any changes to our normal operating schedule.
Finally, I want to offer a reminder, the brutal cold we’re experiencing is inconvenient and uncomfortable for us, but consider not having shelter to help keep you warm. There are individuals in our community who do not have the luxury of turning up the thermostat or adding another blanket to their bed. Please know there are resources available, so, please pass this information along as you find necessary. My office is currently working with the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County to ensure they have the resources they need to meet what is likely to be an increased demand of their services.
Thank you, for your unyielding service to Washtenaw County, I’ll provide updates as events warrant.