Due to a clerical error, city funds earmarked for this spring’s pothole repairs were mixed up with funds intended for a potluck for City Streets Department employees to celebrate last month’s groundhog’s day.
Streets Department clerk Debbie Winton, who was in charge of the potluck, admits she was taken aback when she first saw the amount she had to spend on the annual lunch, typically held in Conference Room C in the Malcolm B. Adams Public Works Building on South Haverline.
“Usually we get about 20, 25 dollars for this kind of thing, most
people bring a dish to pass and we have a couple of grinders,” said Winton. “This year – well, let’s just say it would have afforded a much nicer affair.”
Some of the additional planned expenditures at this year’s Groundhog’s Day potluck included four six-foot-long submarine sandwiches, an ice-sculpture in the shape of City Hall, a chocolate fountain, fresh lobster flown in from the coast, individual groundhog shaped chocolates, a performance by the surviving members of the band Foghat and an appearance by Brian Doyle-Murray, who portrayed the mayor in the film Groundhog Day.
“I guess I just thought that this year they really wanted to reward us for our hard work and to maybe raise everyone’s spirits after all the crazy fluctuating weather we’ve had,” said Winton. “The temperatures going up and down like this will drive you nuts.”
Those conditions, repeated freezes and thaws, tend to create especially plentiful and deep potholes on city roads.
Before plans were finalized, however, the mistake was noticed by the city comptroller’s office and the funds were reallocated correctly. As a gesture, the Comptrollers Office allowed enough extra money in the budget to still allow for the ordering of the four hoagies.
– Brodie H. Brockie