Blog Master G

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My Tax Dollars at Work

Thursday, April 20th, 2006 · No Comments

In 2001 or 2002 when Jen and I were still living in San Francisco, we were driving with Shannon under the freeway near that intersection of 9th St. and Division when we witnessed a head-on collision right in front of us. We pulled aside and immediately called 911 to report the accident since it looked really bad. A drunk man came stumbling out of one of the two trucks involved in the collision. I left my car to see if everyone was OK. I could smell the alcohol on the guy’s breath. The other couple remained calmly inside their truck, with the windows rolled up and refusing to talk to anyone until the police arrived. Fortunately, they looked OK. But we had still called 911, and thus expected to hear sirens blaring and lights blazing any moment. Here we go. OK. Still waiting. More than 30 minutes later, a single cop car slowly approached the scene to take reports from everyone. And that was that. Such is life in a big city.

Though it’s not completely fair to compare the public works infrastructure of a city with a population of nearly a million with the small city of Saratoga Springs (population less than 30,000), it is fair to say that the quality of life in Saratoga Springs is superior — quite simply, you get more for your money (and don’t me wrong, I do love SF and often miss living there).

This morning after flushing the toilet, the bowl was taking a really long time to refill — and the water pressure in the sink was noticeably weaker than usual. After some time, the toilet water started to refill — with brown water. I flushed again and more brown water. We checked the downstairs toilet and same deal. I then looked out the front window to see the street partially flooded with standing water. I immediately called the public works department just before 8am to report the problem. I was told that the fire hydrants were being flushed around town, so that was probably it. I told the nice lady that no, I had seen some water, albeit much less, backed up the other day, too, and that the drain was definitely clogged.

I put on my shoes and got ready to walk the dogs. As we walked out the front door, we saw a public works truck pulling around the corner — a mere 5 to 10 minutes after I made the call. We returned from our walk, and the problem was solved — no more standing water and no more dirty toilet water.

The Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works is to be commended for its rapid response. Now that’s tax dollars in action.

Tags: saratoga springs