Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hickenlooper's Promise, um, Snake oil & Spin - Denver's Streets

Another op'nin, another show
Across the city, a shitload of snow
A chance for stage folks to say hello!
Another op'nin of another show.

(Another Opening, Another Show - Cole Porter)
To paraphrase something from W.F. Buckley, Jr. (of forty years ago): I thought I had seen everything--I hoped I had--in Mayor Hickenlooper's repertoire of show-stoppers; his snake oil "businessman's" approach to big-city mayorship. But, the grand champion effrontery occurred this morning with his pronouncement that he believes he wants to study how other cities remove snow from streets. This in spite of his pronouncement on December 21st that Denver is better prepared to handle a storm of this magnitude than it was six years ago. Um, well, apparently not so.

Egads! This is Denver, Hick. But, yes, I understand. Your MO never fails, no matter what the issue happens to be. Another committee, another task force, another study, another way to slip slide a decision, a MAYORAL decision onto the backs of others, to tap dance your nimble way out of the fray; to disenthrall yourself from the whole nasty mess.

Hick promised, if you recall, that all residential streets would be taken care of, i.e. cleared, by noon on Saturday which--well, let's see--was three days ago. Then, on Christmas day, the Hick and his Manager of Public Works hedged a bit and admitted that, well, yes, every street has not been hit but that a "large majority" of them have.

Not in my neighborhood!

As if to invalidate all the reports of lousy snow cleanup, impassable streets, impassable mush churned up in intersections, Hick took his front-wheel-drive Saturn station wagon out and tooled around the city and did just fine except for a little issue in the alley near his home.

Okay, so all the rest of us gloomy gus complainers; all of the enormous litany of citizen reports about the "...heck of a job..." Hick and boys did on the streets, well, we had just better get ourselves into a front-wheel-drive Saturn, 'cause, by gosh, by golly, them little scooters got balls!

Hick had--dare I use the word "temerity?"--the temerity to give the snow removal effort an "A" for major thoroughfares, but a "C" for the condition of neighborhood streets. "We have not gotten the kind of clearance of snow that we were striving to get," he said. "It's difficult driving, to say the least."

No shit, Sherlock. How about an "F" for residential streets. At least, let's be honest about my neighborhood: an "F." No doubt about it.

So, okay, here we go again. The Hick--Denver's business mayor--is going to look at how other cities remove snow from their streets.

I'm sorry, but shouldn't other cities be coming to Denver to see how we remove snow from our streets? Shouldn't Denver--being Denver, for Christ's sake (sorry), where it snows in the winter--know how to do it by now? Shouldn't we be the model for the rest of the country?

Well, "...another op'nin, another show..." Another study in mayoral chaos that, predictably, results in a snake oil salesman's pirouette that turns the tables, repoints the finger somewhere else rather than where it ought to be pointed, to the empty, useless rhetoric predictably spewed by Hick's administration that can't find it's ass for...

You get the point.

P.S. By the way... I have nothing but admiration and thanks for the City and County of Denver employees--both the street crews and those at DIA--who gave everything they had and more in attempting to accomplish their mission; to serving the citizens of Denver and the traveling public. There is, however, a huge disconnet between these good folks and the administration of this city. The empoyees "get it." The administration doesn't.


Doug said...

George, George, George. All the 'good' neighborhoods have been plowed! The BIG contributors are taken care of! No one has turned off your water or gas service. (HINT HINT)

It's the Golden Rule (as always) - them's with the GOLD makes the RULES. It's so SIMPLE, really!

Us little people should be glad the Rulers LET us live in their glorious cities.

(spontaneously begins singing 'America the Beautiful' and slowly waving a flag)


Jeffrey Beall said...

George: I totally agree with you. My street has not been plowed yet at all, and I live on a block with six highrise apartments on it, where over a thousand city residents live. Snake oil indeed. Our mayor is all puffery and little substance.

Also, the bike paths have gotten insufficient attention.

George said...

Hey, Jeffrey... Not to mention park paths or sidewalks around parks...once again, at least in my neighborhood.

Suz said...

My neighborhood in SE Denver doesn't have residential streets plowed to the pavement by any means. I think that by the time any City plows came through any of them, they were already packed down into ice so the plows made diddly-squat of an impact. The street in front of my condo building doesn't show any sign of a plow having come through at all. And this is a curving long block with 7 condo buildings along it - with 40 to 60 homes in each building.

Our HOA maintenance crews did a terrific job of clearing our sidewalks, steps and driveways - all before sundown last Thursday. So we can get out onto the street, where the slippin and sliding begins....

Anonymous said...

12.28.06 I saw snow removing equipment all up and down residential side streets fronting Alameda in SE Denver......Had to stand on top of a five foot snow bank on 29th and Vallejo to flag down an RTD bus...who did u guys piss off?

George said...

I dunno, Anon... Maybe it's because we're in Dennis Gallagher's little corner of the city. Payback!