Dirty Jobs

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Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Note to St. Paul city government: when people say St. Paul should be a Sanctuary City for Snowflakes, they mean a safe space for students at Macalester College where they will not be disturbed by unfamiliar thoughts, not actual, you know, snowflakes.
I was out of town for a few days, missed the big snow. From what I heard, St. Paul got about 12 inches of snow which is a lot in one go but come on, we live in the North, that can’t be enough to cripple the city. School buses stuck? Streets impassable? Mitch wrote about it the other day – drive across Larpenteur Avenue and look at the streets in Roseville. They managed. Why can’t St. Paul?
Parking. St. Paul has narrow streets in the old residential districts and the hard-surface lot coverage ordinance leaves insufficient off-street parking. Plowing around parked cars is pointless so first we wait for the snow to stop, then we wait for people to move their cars, then we wait for cops to ticket the remaining cars so we can wait for tow trucks to tow them, then we plow. Meanwhile, everybody else is driving on the snow, packing it down, polishing the intersections with spinning tires . . . hopeless.
Ban on-street parking from November 1 to April 30 and plow the streets While The Snow Is Falling, before it gets a chance to become unmanageable. Yes, it will cost a fortune. News flash:- that’s why we HAVE a city government, not for trendy developments or grandstanding resolutions. Safe drinking water. Sanitary sewer treatment. Police and fire protection. Passable transportation routes and that means plowing in winter and filling potholes in summer.
Done properly, city government isn’t sexy or exciting, it’s boring. Start boring me. Plow the damned streets.
Joe Doakes

I get the impression most of Saint Paul’s government – mayor, city council, bureaucracy – got into the politics business after spending their formative years playing Sim City. Where the fun part is building big, flashy toys – stadiums, business districts, the cool stuff. Not doing the dirty grind jobs that are the few reasons we’re supposed to try to tolerate city government in the first place.

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