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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Six stigma

It is now possible to report with bipartisan good will that Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has joined former Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard in discovering the true secret of good municipal government:

Eliminating potholes is a bumpy road, but the city of Indianapolis has made a huge improvement.

Mayor Greg Ballard said once the city is aware of the problem it's fixing the faulty asphalt at breakneck speed.

"19 days down to three days," said Ballard.

Never mind all the grandiose and ill-conceived economic development plans. Just listen to your consituents about where the holes are and go fill the damn things. Unfortunately, Ballard also takes a cue from Richard in trying to make the whole thing sound a lot more complicated and mysterious than mere grunt work:

. . . the mayor said the pothole improvement is no haphazard program.

"The city partnered with Eli Lilly's six sigma program to do an analysis of our method for fixing potholes," said Ballard.

Even when it's just potholes, they have to sound grandiose, don't they? Pretensiousness knows no party lines.


Michael B-P
Fri, 07/17/2009 - 9:57am

After reading your dismissive comments concerning positive results achieved through a municipality's adoption of a systematic method for improving pothole-fixing efficiency, I was ready to cast aspersions on the depth of your "Six-Stigma" knowledge. But then I read the linked article and saw this:

"The mayor calls fixing potholes a 'band aid' approach. He said stimulus money will help get to the core concern. It will be used to resurface some streets in bad shape."

Who was to know that the plan called for stuffing the potholes with stimulus money? Does anyone know where I can get some of this stuff? Does it really work? And does it come pre-mixed? I won't need to adopt the full system. It's just that my driveway's got a couple of holes in it that I'd like to fill before summer's out. Anything pretentious about that?

Leo Morris
Fri, 07/17/2009 - 10:18am

"Resurfacing the street" instead of just "filling the potholes" IS quite a stunning concept. If I'd known the stimulus plan had that much potential to bring humankind out of the caves and into the 21st century, I wouldn't have carped about it so much.

Bob G.
Fri, 07/17/2009 - 11:51am

I'm sorry Leo...I missed something
...I've been busy trying to get those STILL in the caves to STOP WATCHING the shadows on the walls...and turn around.

But I think you managed to hit the nail where it's supposed to be hit (on the head).

Cities just tend to use "LARGER band-aids" these days, that's all.