Your tax dollars at work


A few weeks ago city crews showed up at St. John and Belmont and began jackhammering and removing the crumbling sidewalk edge on the north-east corner of the intersection.
This infrastructure driven news-dog was pleased that the aging sidewalk was being addressed by the city. The bare dirt sat for a week or so, surrounded by yellow caution tape, some orange cones and a couple street barricades, ostensibly to keep people from wandering in and playing in the dirt. About a week later, crews arrived with a cement truck and poured a new concrete corner sidewalk complete with the little rubber nubby things for traction. One would think in the nation’s “Smartest City” this would be the end of the story, right? Sadly, no.

Last Tuesday a small army of city trucks showed up, five to be exact, carrying eight or nine workers in a stunning example of overkill and proceeded to jackhammer and remove the newly poured and finished concrete corner sidewalk pad. It was summarily pulverized and loaded in to trucks and carted off to the landfill. Two days later, another crew showed up and poured new concrete where the old, new concrete was poured nary a week prior. City workers skimmed and floated it, installed new rubber nubby things and left the scene once again surrounded by caution tape and barricades. Yes folks, your tax dollars at work.

Only in this city, where legacy projects take precedence over basic infrastructure needs, would a city crew jackhammer out brand new “old” concrete and replace it with newer, new concrete. Sadly this is the norm and not the exception. Time and time again this critically thinking news-dog has witnessed city crews sit idle in their trucks, sleeping or surfing the net on their phone for hours on end and draw union scale wages for doing absolutely nothing. The replacement of roughly week-old concrete, however, is a new low even for this keen-eyed canine.
There’s an old adage in the trades industry: “Measure twice, cut once.” Maybe, just maybe, if city Public Works supervisors employed this mantra, our tax dollars might be better spent. We’re not holding our breath though as we wait for another crew to come jackhammer out the new concrete again.

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