Water mains and potholes: Matt's Memo


hen a politician considers a run for office they talk about all the good they can do for the community. They consider taking a town, city or village in a new direction. Those are the dreams that come with the idyllic notion of serving the public. However, it is not the reality of being an elected leader in an aging northeastern city like Syracuse.

The reality is filled with difficult budget decisions because of rising fixed costs. Reality includes the urgency of weather related problems like the annual arrival of the potholes and the bursting of water main breaks. Reality includes vigorous debates about whether to fine people when they don't shovel their sidewalk.

Sure, occassionally someone will toss in a request for a major hotel property tax break or an abstract plan to build a new sports stadium. The challenge that comes when those projects suddenly arise is quickly offset by an angry union or legal action taken against the city.

It must be hard to find the time for a thoughtful moment to create a plan for progress. Sometimes doing good for the community means holding it together, keeping it from crumbling while simultaneously carving out time for a brighter future.


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