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Pothole, TX

For the third time in 18 months, Houston's Public Works Department has changed the way it keeps track of potholes it repairs.

Wouldn't the time be better spent actually repairing some of the potholes?

Compliments to the Dreadful Chron for reporting Channel 13's role in exposing some of the problems in Public Works this spring. Usually the Chron doesn't bother to credit sources in that manner.

Sylvia Garcia isn't that impressed with Public Works, however:

City Controller Sylvia Garcia scoffed at charting pothole repair work on the basis of asphalt used, saying, "They don't even know how much asphalt they bought."

Garcia's office recently completed an audit showing that Public Works had failed to ensure that the city got the amount and quality of asphalt it had paid for over a two-year period.

According to the latest monthly report, Public Works used more than 3,600 tons of asphalt on potholes during the first two months of this fiscal year. At that rate, it would exceed its goal for the year.

Or so it says.

I just love that last line, "Or so it says." It contributes not at all to the story factually, but it just oozes condescension. And it's important for newsreporting to OOZE condescension at a quality paper, right?

And the paper does aspire to quality (because Mr. Jeff Cohen says so).

Of course, quality requires editors. And writers. And sense.

And those are still in short supply at the Dreadful Chron.

[Posted at 23:13 CST on 10/02/02] [Link]

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