My favorite political candidate ever is Howard Stern. His platform was very simple, consisting of:
- Bring back the death penalty
- All road construction to be done at night
- Then resign
The road construction is the interesting one. It goes without saying that Howard Stern would be a terrible public official (thus the resignation). But he put his finger on something — that it’s easy for governments to forget what is important in day-to-day life. Highway construction isn’t as important as a balanced budget, income equality, povery, literacy, etc., but in an average day I’m more affected by construction schedules.
Which brings me to my own local government, DeKalb County. In all my “everyday” interactions, I have always been impressed. I have called different departments about trash disposal, taxes, becoming a notary, buying a tax lien property, and more. Every time, I have been able to talk to a knowledgeable, polite human being in a reasonable time. This is no small feat.
They recently changed out the water meter for my house. To do this, they had to dig a large patch out of my front lawn. They replanted the whole area. It’s the best looking part of my lawn.
This week, they have been going through our whole street laying fiber optic cable for the school system. To do this, every 15 feet or so, they dig through whoevers lawn they happen to be at, about 4 feet deep, and using air hoses, wire, rope, and a lot of human sweat, lay a 6″ flexible tube through the ground. I was very impressed by the amount of thought and energy that had gone into minimizing the disruption to the homeowners and their property. All the holes were carefully filled in, tamped in with some neato jackhammerish tool. They then took the grass chunks they had placed off to one side, and rebuilt the lawn as it was before. The degree of care they took lengthened their work day by at least 30%. So far, it looks like it will only be a few more days and no one will be able to tell the trauma my lawn underwent.
Of all the counties I could have been in,
I say Hooray for the one I’m in!
(bonus points if any non-parents can name that quote…)