It is a fact of life, that some clever businesses just know how to make money off the taxpayer’s dime. Some are good at it and others don’t do so well. No one complains because it is just a fact of life that when private contractors win a bid for a government contract, money is saved big time by the municipality. These businessmen often have better equipment, are more efficient and much better motivated to get the job done as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, if not monitored closely; they can also find ways to milk the system and defraud the taxpayer. It’s just human nature – whether it’s a corrupt government worker or a private contractor, there is always a few bad eggs who want to ‘work’ the system. And then there is the patronage, official and unofficial; the family, the cousin, the townie, the nephew, the political supporter, etc.
Of course, then we have the ‘brutish’ approach done by our beloved and hard pressed Department of Public Services. Because they are underfunded and understaffed, their driving force is to do jobs the cheapest and easiest. Technically, all those rules and regulations that are so ruthlessly applied to private businesses aught to be consistently applied to our city-owned infrastructure. But no. If a private business cries poverty, the government just looks on cruelly and says, “No excuse!” But now, hypocritically; they in turn do the same and this is supposed to give them a pass?
Whether it’s the government, patronage or subcontractors, If there is any place that will suffer the most will be Newburyport’s sidewalks.
Is there any excuse for this example below unless somebody wanted to ‘make’ work or make excuses?
This was clearly done to ‘spend’ money to ‘use up’ the blacktop.
Why can’t we do things correctly under the oversight of the Mayor, the Planning Director and the Planning Office with a carefully vetted, publicly-reviewed sidewalk plan?
It is gotten so bad that individual, selfish homeowners can dictate to the city how they want the sidewalks to appear before their homes. The city property, the sidewalks, become their sidewalks not the communities.
Why can’t we have smooth, consistent surfaces?
Why can’t we have a sidewalk standard?
Why can’t we design this to enhance our money-making heritage tourism infrastructure and encourage minimum maintenance issues in our outlying neighborhoods?
Why can’t we have our handicapped and seniors taken into consideration?
Why is there no visible input from the American Disabilities Act, the Complete Streets policy and the Safe-to-Schools program?
As the Mayor assembles the Ad-hoc committee – let’s work toward doing the sidewalks RIGHT!