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Former Murray Mayor Dan Snarr was brimming with holiday spirit Sunday morning when he noticed the city's snowplows, inundated by the heaviest Christmas storm in a century, had not yet reached his street.

So Snarr, striving to be Santa's elf with the plow he uses in the commercial maintenance and snow-removal business he has co-owned for years, began clearing Spring Clover Drive to help his neighbors get to holiday worship services on time.

As he was doing his good deed, he ran into a "bah, humbug" from a city snowplow driver on his way to Spring Clover Drive who told his former boss the lane wasn't big enough for both of them.

"He told me his supervisor told him to tell me to stop," Snarr said. "I was just trying to be a good neighbor."

So Snarr pulled back. Still, he said, the city plows didn't finish his street until the next day.

During his 16 years as mayor, Snarr was known for going out on his own, using his own supplies and equipment to clean up blight or complete unfinished maintenance chores such as weed-clearing or snow removal.

But as the 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns noted in his famous "To a Mouse," the best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.

Such was the concern of Murray officials when Snarr took on the street-clearing task.

"We certainly appreciate Dan's efforts," Murray Public Services Director Doug Hill said. "But we don't encourage private citizens to do the work that public employees are trained to do. The policy is for the benefit of the city and of the good Samaritan."

If Snarr or any other private person accidentally did damage to a homeowner's property or city property, that do-gooder could be held liable.

Even so, Snarr felt rebuffed — maybe enough to prompt the 66-year-old retired politician to jump back into the fray.

More humbug • If only the energetic Snarr had been available to help process deliveries for Qualtry, a Lindon company that was overwhelmed by Christmas orders after being advertised on Groupon.

The gifts and crafts outfit promised quick delivery on holiday orders and posted a picture of its employees scurrying to wrap gifts for delivery to customers.

But that same Facebook page contained comments from unhappy customers. Some complained that they had to hurry out on Christmas Eve to find replacement gifts for those that did not arrive in time from Qualtry.

"Not only will my friends not receive the gifts I ordered by Christmas, which I ordered on December 1st," wrote Carolyn Calamari Rocha, "but Qualtry has decided to not even talk to me or address the problem."

At least the employees are trying.

"We pushed out almost 6,000 orders yesterday [Dec. 21] and are expecting to get out more orders today," Qualtry's customer-service representative, Brooke Villalba, wrote on Facebook. "Watch our dedicated staff hard at work to get your presents to you before Christmas."