City Manager Loomis gives Lubbock an A for storm response

Published: Jan. 5, 2016 at 11:37 PM CST|Updated: Apr. 4, 2016 at 10:37 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - "If you had to give the city a grade on how they handled this giant snow storm, what would you give the city?"

"I personally, would give them an A," said Lubbock City Manager James Loomis.

VIDEO: Full interview with City Manager James Loomis

Loomis is charged with overseeing the day to day operations of the city. He is the highest paid city employee, bringing in $250,000 a year. Quincy White, the Deputy City Manager is second in command, and brings in nearly $190,000 a year.

"Now, I'll tell you why I give the city an A. I lived on the Illinois-Wisconsin border for seven and a half years of my life. The event that we just had was a normal event there. In that part of the country, cities have more equipment to take care of things, but in Lubbock we think things come and go. They don't come and go.  This event had to happen. We had to react to it afterwards, not during. If you react during the event, you are just wasting your time because snow is coming down, wind is blowing etcetera. Once we react, we react with the equipment we have and the personnel we have. I can tell you that many people have many sleepless nights trying to take care of this situation. I think the city reacted really nicely," Loomis said.

"We heard that you and Quincy were out of town during this snow storm. What was your role as you were gone?"

"I have a mother who is in a facility in Florida and that's where I was. And obviously, the trip was planned way ahead of time. My role was to keep informed and I did keep informed while I was away, and if anybody needed advice I gave advice from a distance," Loomis said.

"I know there were people who were on 12 hour shifts, you guys had people that were here just constantly. Did you guys have conference calls? Did you guide people? Who was leading all of this?"

"During the storm, Mark Yearwood and the assistant city manager was in charge. We have an Emergency Operations Center that is, that has individuals in there making the determinations on how and what and when and why and where to dispatch the services and the equipment we have to use and I think they did a bang up job," Loomis said.

"Had you been here do you think you would have done things differently?"

"No, absolutely not. Once again, we have to work with what we have and all we have is personnel and the limited amount of equipment that we have, that's it. The storm was handled rather nicely for a city our size with the equipment that we have," Loomis said.

We asked who is in charge of approving the city manager and the deputy city manager's time off. The mayor told us Loomis approves his own time off as well as the deputy city manager's.

We have received so many emails and I'm sure the city has, too, just about how dangerous these roads were and not having the equipment to clear the roads. It's now ten days and there is still some snow on the roads.

"There is very little out there, very little. I have driven this city almost every street, very little. And I can't imagine people expecting it to be absolute total  bare concrete or asphalt. I can't image that this late in the game," Loomis said.

CONSIDER THIS: City Manager gets an F for storm response

Copyright 2016 KCBD. All rights reserved.