Saturday, October 29, 2011
Pay for It and Now Leave It Alone
You have to wonder sometimes about the ability of private contractors working on public projects to see the big picture. The other day, a labor crew replacing damaged portions of sidewalks in a Burlingame neighborhood finished a small concrete patch and headed off to the next section on a street near Rollins Road. A teenager emerged from the house behind the sidewalk and proceeded to start scrawling something, friendly initials perhaps, in the wet concrete. Time out. A workman saw the deed, walked over to her and warned, "You can't do that. You're defacing public property. You can be cited for that." The chastened kid, unprepared for the verbal blast, backed off. Her effort was then smoothed over. But wait. The sidewalk repair job in front of her home was being paid for, in part, by her parents. That's the way it works now in many Peninsula cities, including Burlingame. The idea that the youngster was somehow out of bounds by tweaking the fresh concrete is absurd. Technically, it is city property but it's now being partially maintained by the homeowners (the repair fee is shared 50-50). So get a grip, folks. Relax. Try to maintain some perspective.