Stadium funding, pension reform, social welfare programs, and education and school controversy trump potholes among the “sexy” government issues that get activists riled up. Yet while everyday issues like road repair may lack the same excitement, infrastructure remains a basic function of government and one that constantly agitates numerous city residents.
In an era of deeply polarizing political issues, potholes remain one that both Republican and Democrat city officials are drawn to address. Voters, annoyed by the nuisance of street maintenance problems, respond warmly to talk of solving this uniting issue.
Video of Mayor Svante Myrick, of Ithaca, New York, a Democrat, on Meet the Press shows him downplaying the Obamacare debacle and diverting the focus from Obamacare in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections saying, “people are talking more about potholes.”
When pressed in a recent interview for what positive impact he has had as New York mayor, Bill de Blasio moved away from meatier subjects stating, “I’m very proud of the potholes we’ve filled at an unprecedented level.”
San Diego City Council member and former interim mayor Todd Gloria, a Democrat, tweeted, “Rain leads to potholes. Report ones in your area & other storm related problems in City rights of way at…”.
Newly elected San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer is set to release his plan to address the city’s potholes woes, reports local ABC 10 News. Faulconer’s pothole plan, which is expected to address issues brought to attention in a performance audit of the city of San Diego’s pothole repair operations, comes on the heels of his proposed budget. The audit report cited inaccurate records and inefficiency as highly troubling.
Faulconer, a Republican, recently tweeted, “Out in the community repairing potholes after our recent spring rainstorm.”
As city officials consider funding for a diversity of issues during budget discussions, the question remains whether they will indeed address funding of basic government functions like street maintenance and public safety, or be swayed to stack funding for programs popular with their campaign contributors and useful to their reelection bids.