Saturday, March 20, 2010

Small Town Government in Action

I usually try to stay away from politics. I just find it a little too brutal. So much bashing going on, left vs. right, Church vs. state, red vs. blue. I know some of that is to be expected, but anymore, it seems to be so, well, personal, focusing on the evils of a specific person, or an entire party, instead of a flawed theory, action, or ideology.

But politics, unfortunately, are everywhere, and can make life miserable. Politics exist in schools, the workplace, and in small town living.

However, I want to focus on politics in government, specifically, small town government, and even more specifically, my small town.

Back in January, out town started this project on the streets, digging them up and replacing sewage and gas lines in my part of town. My street was completely dug up. As in, we have no real road left in most places, just piles of dirt and gravel. When the snows hit, our street really did not get plowed because of this, until someone (yours truly) called the streets department and complained after Hubby's car got stuck.

So now that the snow has melted, our street is a dirty, gravely, dusty mess every time a car goes down. Even worse, the construction vehicles are being stored on the end of the street, so, our poor street has some major wear and tear.

At this point, I should mention that an elected official lives on our street. In terms of small town government, he is pretty influential. And yet our street looks positively post apocalyptic, and will for another seven weeks I am told.

This week, a huge hole developed in the street. So bad that you really could not drive over it. The crew working on the street put a cone in it. Then they put some dirt in it. And then it rained. So you know what happened, the hole opened up again. So frustrating.

Yesterday, as I sat outside waiting for Hubby to get home from work, I saw aforementioned elected official take two wheel barrow loads of gravel and dirt and fill the hole, then spread it around evenly so cars can safely pass over it.

To me, this was a tremendous metaphor for government in action. He could have pointed fingers, and complained, but instead, he rolled up his sleeves, and did the job himself. I think if more of this would happen, we could all meet closer to the middle.