Cathy Lazarus recently retired with more than 35 years of local government service, including fifteen as Public Services/ Public Works Director for the City of Mountain View.

As California communities struggle to cope with the onslaught of winter storms, it is important to remember the unsung first responders of local government; public works maintenance employees. 

These are the folks who have been working 24/7 for days to keep our streets clear, pick up fallen tree limbs, plow snow, guard downed power lines until utilities repair them, unclog storm drains to prevent flooding, help residents with sand bags and so much more.

So, if you happen see these dedicated employees working in the most hazardous of conditions over the next few days, give them a salute for dedication and commitment to keeping our communities safe.

Cathy Lazarus can be reached at

Previously Cathy worked for the County of Santa Clara in Planning, Parks, Risk Management, General Services and the Office of the County Executive. Cathy has a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and Master of City Planning from Harvard University.  She is the author of the Public Works Chapter of “Managing Local Government Services:  A Practical Guide” published by the ICMA Press.