Apr 9, 2009

Diary of a Mayor's Wife - Drowning in Stubborn

Shortly after building the new high school it became obvious the grade of the large field surrounding it was incorrect. The neighborhood to the North was flooding every time it rained. Dan consulted with experts and brought it to the attention of the school board who's answer went something like; "Of course the retention pond is fine, there's never any water in it after it rains" to which someone should've knocked their heads together until they realized a retention pond should be full after it rains not the neighborhood's yards next to the retention pond.

The village on behalf of the residents asked the school to get it fixed. In the normal scheme of construction, the school board would contact the general contractor and the general contractor would make the sub-contractor that did the grading fix it, or at the least back charge them for the work, but that didn't happen. The school board hired an out of state general contractor who did some creative paperwork allowing him to subcontract everything for the lowest non-union bid possible and the sub-contractors were long gone by the time the bricks were falling off and the neighborhood was flooding. Besides the school board didn't want to admit it was their fault or try to contact the general contractor anyway and instead waved their butts in the general direction of the neighborhood next to them.

Dan offered a compromise telling the school board, it was going to cost the village and the school board both at least $10,000.00 each in lawyer fees to argue about who would fix it and so he would just take the $10,000.00 and set it aside for the regrading of the school's field and the school board could pitch in their $10,000.00 and that's would cover the cost to fix it. The school board decided that being right was way more important than actually fixing anything or saving the taxpayers any money or being good neighbors and again waved their butts in the face of everyone.

The local news paper hasn't covered any of this. Perhaps it is too hard to make it to the meetings, with all that showing up places, finding out what is happening and writing stuff. In the mean time our neighbors called our house every time it rained to complain that it'd been years and still their yards become ponds when it rained. After every single call Dan would get his coat and boots on and go look at the water and share in their frustration. The two boards
are still arguing over who should fix it but now we are done taking the neighbor's calls.

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