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RE: Cracks on Bull Creek Rd.  Beaudet, Annick
 Apr 29, 1999 13:35 PDT 
The system works fine. The cracks haven't been fixed yet because they are on
a list with about 200 other streets which were called in before Bull Creek.
I still encourage all to use the number and use the system. Have patience
please. Yes, Patrick is correct, we cannot cry wolf to City Council, we
must save the big ones for them.

Annick Beaudet
Bicycle & Pedestrian Program
City of Austin
512-499-7032
fax 512-499-7101


 -----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Goetz [SMTP:pgo-@mail.utexas.edu]
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 1999 2:16 PM
To: Roger Baker; austin-@topica.com
Subject: Re: Cracks on Bull Creek Rd.

At 9:26 AM -0800 4/29/99, Roger Baker wrote:
 Friends,
          What I sometimes do when I want a bureaucratic problem solved
is
 to visit the city council first (get to know one). Then they call the
city
 staff and tell them to do whatever it is.

I realize that at least in theory this should not work any better than
just
 calling up the city staff yourself, but for some reason it seems to work
much better in practice.


Roger, as you're well aware, this is a totally ass-backwards, f*cked-up
modus operandi. (Nevermind that it might be the most effective thing to
do
at this moment, a claim I would dispute anyway. ;-) )

If we're going to have an effective and smoothly running municipal system
(transportation and otherwise), then we need to design it from the ground
up to function efficiently. Having to run to City Council for every
pothole is MADNESS. There is no way that 7 people can effectively serve
as
an intermediary for all these demands. It's like trying to run the city's
entire water supply through a straw - it just ain't all gonna get through
there in a reasonable amount of time.

Furthermore, Council exists to set policy - this is their primary job.
Commissions exist to provide recommendations to council (and staff) on
particular areas of concern (transportation, zoning, parks) and to serve
as
a primary interface for public input on these issues, and staff is there
to execute policy and keep the city running. All three need to interact
with the general public, of course, but this interaction should make
sense;
i.e. you talk to staff about potholes, the planning commission about
zoning
changes, and city council about a particular ordinance like the bicycle
helmet law.

If the mechanism for reporting and fixing road problems is broken, the
solution is NOT to run to council with every crack in the road, but rather
to fix the mechanism. There is no reason why a city council member should
be bothered with such trivialities. Fixing cracks in the road is not
rocket science, nor is it a matter of major policy concern. It's just a
crack in the road which everyone agrees needs to be fixed. If it's not
being fixed in a timely fashion and/or the system for reporting such
problems is onerous, then we need to fix the system. End of story.

Sheesh, are those CAMPO losers making everyone go crazy by osmosis? I
better take some protective mind-altering halucinogens before going to the
next CAMPO meeting, if this is the case. :-)




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