Doug Curlee | Editor at Large
Sherman ‘goes rogue’ to finish project stymied by red tape
Last year, someone vandalized the “Welcome to San Carlos” at Navajo Road and Park Ridge Drive. The “S” and the “C” were ripped off and taken away.
A lot of people didn’t like that, and wanted the city to repair it, which didn’t happen as soon as people seemed to think it should.
One of the more vocal critics was San Carlos resident Jeff MacMaster, who more or less mounted a campaign to see that it got done.
After getting no satisfaction, or even response, from the city’s “Get It Done” website, MacMaster turned his attention to Councilmember Scott Sherman’s office, San Carlos being in his District 7.
He says he got no response there for a long time, and never did speak personally to Councilmember Sherman.
“I have learned that no one takes responsibility for maintaining this sign. Frankly, I cannot understand why this sign was built with no money earmarked for its maintenance” said MacMaster.
That’s a fair question. It seems the “community” paid for and built the sign, but no one seems sure exactly who the “community” is.
The replacement letters cost about $250 — as far as city expenditures go, that’s not very much.
More on that later.
Liz Saidkhanian, director of outreach for Councilmember Sherman, said staff replied to all of MacMaster’s emails, but getting answers out of a city bureaucracy often takes time.
Saidkhanian admits this took way more time than it should have, but again points to having to go through the dance steps mandated by the city.
“We had to wait until the contractor we identified to do the work could prove he had the necessary insurance to work on a city job, and that takes time. We had to wait for the people who make the letters to send an invoice, and this whole thing just wound up taking way too much time,” she said.
Saidkhanian said Sherman’s office, and Sherman himself, are working to try to simplify and speed up the way the city handles things like this by cutting away pointless red tape.
“There’s no way this should have taken this long,” she added.
The way this was finally accomplished was, in effect, a throwback to the days when there wasn’t a multi-volume set of rules and regulations to deal with — when bureaucracies didn’t rule.
It was also probably technically illegal, but no one has sworn out an arrest warrant.
“We just went rogue,” Saidkhanian said.
Sherman’s office had the replacement letters in hand, and were more than a little frustrated, as was Jeff MacMaster.
They’d all had enough.
Councilmember Sherman finally just grabbed the letters and the glue, jumped in the car, drove to Navajo Road and Park Ridge Boulevard, and glued the letters in place — with his own two hands.
Sherman has done things like this from time to time, we’re told.
It might have been a nice gesture to invite Jeff MacMaster to join him there, but that didn’t happen.
— Doug Curlee is Editor at Large. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.