Friday, May 4, 2007

A Story

An example of poor planning and worse money management, for your Amusement:

Once upon a time, some contractors designed a new housing area. The only problem with the design was that it was impossible to get from one side of the new accomodations to the other houses in the development without driving around the perimeter of the entire area, or going a half mile down the road in the opposite direction of the new houses and hang a right for a couple of blocks - at 15 mph, past business buildings, etc. and not at all marked, so if you're new or unfamiliar with the post, you're in trouble - and come back around via a back road several streets over to get to the other side. It's very confusing for visitors and a pain for UPS and FedEx. Further confusing matters is the guards at the gate have never been able to give the correct directions to which side visitors need to get to. But between the various courts (named East and West -- (whatever) ), the auxilliary parking lots connected over a strip of grass. So guess what happened.

Initially, no one drove over the grass. Then the maintenance people drove across it. Then the post police started driving over it, killing a good bit of the grass over time. Visitors given the wrong directions drove over it. What was left was very patchy.

So the housing management had concrete contractors come in, rip the remaining grass out, and lay pavement between the auxilliary lots at the ends of the courts, connecting them. All the residents, delivery drivers, mail trucks, and visitors thought "all right!", figured someone had gotten a clue, and drove over the paved areas.

No problems for a couple of months.

Then the housing management decided that no one should drive over them, and informed the residents. Only, no one told the delivery drivers, the post police, or their own maintenance department ~ they all continued to drive over the little connecting strip. No signs were put up to the contrary. So slowly, the residents started doing the same again.

Next, the housing management had sod contractors come out, rip up the pavement, and plant sod in that area. Again. A town hall meeting was held in which all residents were told that they were absolutely not allowed to drive over them, or they'd get a ticket. Unfortunately, there was (again) never a sign posted, so visitors still drive over them. Delivery drivers still drive over them. The post police and our own maintenance trucks still drive over them. And this time, there isn't any grass left; it's a big stretch of dirt that deposits mud all over the auxilliary lots when it rains. And no tickets have been given. So, guess what? The residents have started driving over them again.

This morning, my daughter was awakened by concrete contractors who are ripping up the sod, and putting up frames for pavement. Again. And there's a notice stuck in our front doors stating that no one is allowed to drive between the courts.

So -- from dirt (brand new housing) to sod, to pavement, to sod, to dirt, to pavement again ~ all in a year's time. I'm wondering exactly how much money has been wasted this year. I'll keep you posted to see if the pattern holds. It's kind of amusing to watch this unfold right outside my window, in a detached sort of way.

No comments: