County Leg: Making it Rain

23 May

The County Legislature bipartisanly took the bold step of literally just wildly throwing money – $5 million of it – at the beleaguered road network. Surely our roads are in need of repair, thanks to a brutal and relentless winter, but is it too much to ask Republican legislators to actually set up a plan, or maybe name some priorities, before they shame everyone to spend money so prospective opponents can’t label them as anti-road? 

Seriously. This kind of spending is typically what Republicans criticize Democrats for.  But it’s ok if it’s roads, because almost all county roads are in the suburban districts. 

We need to review the county road network, which grew without control under the old Board of Supervisors, and determine what roads should be maintained by the regional government, and which should revert to local control. 

4 Responses to “County Leg: Making it Rain”

  1. rhmaccallum May 23, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Most interesting. Legislators of course love this kind of stuff. You can almost see it now on the useless, self serving little mailers we will be getting come election time.
    The worst idea is letting legislators “set up a plan” for this sort of thing. They are legislators, not professionals in highway maintenance. We have those professionals and the “plan” part is best left to them.
    I agree transitioning roads appropriately between towns, villages and the county is a good idea. Problem is half the voters and legislators, those that identify themselves primarily (or solely) as taxpayers have already been pretty much duped into believing villages and towns should be abandoned in favor of unbridled regionalism. They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  2. Michael Rebmann May 23, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    If there is road work to be done that can’t be accomplished by the county road crews, why not use private contractors?

    • Matt May 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      From my experience they usually do use private contractors for larger engineered projects. (i.e bridge/culvert replacement, road replacement, new drainage/water lines) However, these projects have been engineered and have predetermined material quantities which are used in the bid process. Asphalt placement is then monitored by a 3rd party to ensure quantity and quality laid. (Asphalt is paid on a per ton placed basis)

      It would be really inefficient to follow this process for road repairs. Therefore, you would have to trust that the contractor is placing what he says he his, or you would have to have county measure potholes until they could come up with an estimate of how much it would take. In either scenario you would have to hire an inspector to babysit the contractor driving around filling holes.

  3. Marc Rebmann May 23, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    All county roads should be given to the local municipalities, or in a few cases to the state. County government should not be in the road business.

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