Sunday, January 12, 2014

~CAN YOU FIGHT CITY HALL? WELL...

maybe not...but you can sweet talk them.
I didn't take any photo's of the main player in this little drama because they were already calling me by my first name and there was no sense in pushing my luck.  It began a few mornings ago when I stepped outside to sit on our front porch and enjoy a cup of coffee.  I noticed ORANGE lines painted on the sidewalk.  Curious I walked down for a closer look and saw up the street the truck you see in the photo below.
I was puzzled but since they were so far up the street I thought I would wait and see what they were up to.
Since they had painted along a crack by our big pine tree, and along a couple of raised area's on the sidewalk..I supposed they were getting ready to grind them down for safety.  WRONG!

A few days later I heard a big truck rumbling out front and rushed out to see what was going on.
They were next door busily painting tar along all the orange lines they had painted a few days before.  
I went to the truck and shouted up to the driver.."WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"  He had sort of a silly grin on his face and shouted back to me "REPAIRS!"  

 I shouted back..."NO! NO! You are NOT going to paint that tar on the sidewalk in front of our home!
NO!  You are not!"   

 To the right of the entry to our neighbors driveway (new young homeowners, first home) they had just had a new sidewalk to their mailbox put in along their driveway entry and also a new concrete driveway.  The man spreading the tar rounded the back of the truck and said..."What's the problem here!"  and I told him.  He said "we have to put the tar down, lady, so the blacktop will stick to the concrete.  The raised area's are a liability and we have to do this!  We will come back later and replace the sections with concrete"  I explained my position.  I told him that they had done these repairs before and five years later the black top was still there and just as much of a "toe grabber" as it ever was and that I myself had stumbled on one of the bumps on the next street over while taking a walk.  I then asked him just WHEN they intended to come back.  Did he have any idea.  
He looked at me for a long moment and then THREW his hands in air and said "I'll tell you the truth, lady!  Six months ..a year...I just don't know."  I said, well, you are NOT going to make this neighborhood any uglier than it is.  I CARE what the front of my home looks like.  I will be living here until I die.  You cannot do this!  You just CAN'T!  Looking a little confused as to what to do with me, he said "don't tell anyone but call this number (and he gave me a three digit number..and said "I'll skip you and check back.  You go call and don't mention me."  I started for the house and he call "AND DON'T GIVE UP!!"  I promised I wouldn't ..
Neighbors front driveway.

 I called, spoke to a woman who said the Concrete Supervisor would call me back short.  And he did.
He said he was coming right out to look at the situation. 
He did. (Surprised the heck out of me!)
We had a long talk and my "neighbor" from across the street had joined me by then.  I explained that it seemed twice as expensive to "Mickey Mouse" something when they could do it right in the first place and if not, do it in a way as not to make things so ugly.  He then explained to me that they didn't have the manpower OR the  money!  This went on and on..finally he took pictures..and promised to get back to me.
 I showed the "Concrete Supervisor"  this patch in front of a neighbors home across the street from us done in black top that had been there for a very long time.  More than three years at least.  He took a picture.  So did I.

 Random shot of a young man trying to pretend he see's nothing and know's nothing!  LOL
I told him the picture was going to be on the  front page of the morning paper.  Sorry..but I shouldn't laugh.  He was ...nervous.  Bless his heart.
I told the Supervisor that I wasn't trying to make things difficult for him but that they just could not do what they were doing!  I was upset.  (Remember the blacktopping of our street?  I know, I know.  I am not meaning to be a pain in the rear but they are just wasting money the  way they do things, or so it seems to me.)
I told him really nicely how I felt..he took his pictures, promised me he would get back with me as to when it could be done right,  and left.

About two hours later there was a knock on the door and "Jerry" introduced himself to me.  Said he was a Supervisor (didn't say of what) and asked me what the problem was.  (I memorized his name).  We talked. We debated.  I explained.  He reasoned. I understood.  I relented and said I wasn't trying to make his life miserable...I just was terribly upset to see our neighborhood being made to look worse and worse with lack of caring.  I said I thought they were wasting money by doing a job twice.  I wanted to say I thought it was "piss poor prior planning" (sorry but I was a military wife for over 20 years and that's how they would have described such a thing.  Why not do it right the first time.  
Couldn't they just grind down those raises..anything but uglify things worse than they already were.  He said they just did not have the crews or the money.
He also said he would get back to me and tell me when they could redo the cracks and raises correctly, and he left.
(This picture is of the crew cleaning up the concrete after their heavy equipment broke another section of the sidewalk.  Oops! )
The following day, I was gone from early morning, and was having breakfast out with my girlfriend when I got an urgent phone call on my cell phone from PH saying I should come home right away!!  He said there was a big crew at the house and that Ann's car was parked on the street in the way of the heavy equipment.  I said I would be right there!  WAIT!  What equipment?!!

When we got there I was shocked to see our entire sidewalk in front of the house had been jack hammered up and there were men and equipment everywhere..
One of them walked up to me and said "Are you Mona?"  I said yes and he said "I am so sorry.  They told us that you said you did not want big equipment out here but the small back hoe just isn't doing the work so we had to send for the big CAT.  I was speechless!  I said I never..no..not me ..I wouldn't ..I didn't know you were even coming!!!  So the big equipment began the removal of the concrete.

What happened?  Who in the world knows, but we are not going to be tarred and blacktopped.  At least not in front of our home!  :):)
The end

P.S. Since I have had a few of the neighbors come ask me what is going on...maybe there is going to be more to this story.  They want me to talk for them.  I told them I already had.  Sometimes I really can talk too darned much!  I was nice.  I really was!

21 comments:

  1. I hope they don't send you a bill or raise your taxes more...yikes!

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  2. Good for you, I never hear of blacktop or tar on the sidewalk. So glad you had them do it right. Hugs, Marty

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  3. I'm so proud of you Mona. Stick up for what is right. Your pretty little house will look beautiful with a new side walk in front of it, with out a hint of tar.
    Just show what woman power can do when they get determined.
    Big Hugs Kay

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  4. You WERE very Nice and you GOT RESULTS:) GO Mona! Your Neighborhood is going to hire you as their spokesperson! Enjoy your new sidewalk dear friend, HUGS!

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  5. Blacktop a sidewalk??? Who in the world does that? Never seen it done and you are right, it's UGLY as all get out. Sheesh.

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  6. Oh me oh my, Mona, you go girl, if everyone would step up as you did maybe we could get more nice work done and not the waste of our tax money to Mickey Mouse thiings. I like your spunk.
    Nice Blog, isn"t it nice when we can just go to our Computers and VENT. Oh what a relief it is.
    Have a great day
    Barbara
    xoxo

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  7. i to am shocked they would blacktop sidewalk..

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  8. I saw something in our newspaper about a "crazed California girl" gone wild and was trying to steal a truck with a cute city worker inside..OK, just kidding! However, since you are so good at debates, I think you should run for Mayor! In our small town here in Ohio we are responsible for the upkeep of the sidewalks in front of our property. That means if they are bad, you pay to have them fixed. I don't think the policy is really enforced too strictly since I have tripped many times over lousy sidewalks! Now I live in the country and we have no sidewalks! Good for you for fighting for the right Mona!

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  9. I need you here....you think the city is difficult...try dealing with a community manager....!!!

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  10. Well, since they probably don't have the funds or the nerve to pour a whole trough of TAR down that trench, I think you're in line for some spanking new concrete.

    rachel

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  11. Way to go Mona. Sounds like you gave them what for. We need more people like you. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

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  12. You ROCK! You were nice, pleasant, truthful . . . and they listened! WOW . . .

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  13. Whooo Hoooo! Now THAT is one for the records! Good for you! I KNEW you had it in you and apparently you did a good enough job that SOMEONE in POWER listened to you. Good for you. Now-watch...they will TAR everyone else in the neighborhood and YOUR name will be MUD! lol xo Diana

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  15. Good for you - those worker just think they can walk all over people. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down.
    they were cutting the trees in the parkway - well I had a lot of humming birds nest in the Magnolia tree and I said please don;t get crazy cutting the branches as I have babies in there. I stood out there and watched them just to be sure they didn't touch my baby birds. They were very nice and left them alone.

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  16. That's looks nice and fabulous post. I glad to read it and thanks for sharing to wonderful post. I still waiting for next thought and Image are so great.

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  17. Okay I get it - I am reading the posts backwards - dah! Have patience with me. sandie

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