- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 4, 2019


Wanted: Someone to invent a roadway topping that doesn’t fall prey to potholes. Deadline: ASAP.

Wanted: Politicians willing to deliver clean and safe water. Deadline: 2014.

The Flint, Michigan, water crisis isn’t over.

While it no longer grabs the screaming headlines of 2014, “don’t use the water” signs are stark reminders that pipe fitters and plumbers are more vital to our lives and livelihoods than politicians.

Most of us cannot fathom having to live for five years — five years in a row — without being unable to turn on a faucet for fear of unsafe drinking or bathing water, or having a family of three, four, five or more and being limited to 20 bottles water a day.

Families who can rub more than three quarters together in Flint are moving, if they haven’t already.

Meanwhile, the political movers and shakers, as well as the judicial system, are behaving like sloths.

They know what funked up the water, funky politics, and who funked up the public works system, funky politicians. Yet the judicial system has failed to completely clear the air (and no intention here to create another crisis).

Most of us do not have family or friends still struggling with the Flint water crisis. At most, we’re inconvenienced for a day or two because of busted water mains, and even when we do, we hold politicos to deadlines.

Flint politicians, however, are just getting around to issuing contract proposals to replace the waterlines.

On a far-less-dire note, politicians seem to rejoice in potholes getting the best of motorists, as there’s not a state in the Union that is free of buckled roads, sinkholes and/or potholes.

In the nation’s capital, just as sure as Mother Nature delivers daffodils, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser offers her Potholepalooza campaign. Yuk, yuk, yuk.

After the city’s ragged streets have led to blown tires, and busted and lost hubcaps, and motorists are driving like they’re playing around in bumper cars, the mayor holds her annual ritual.

Golly, are we supposed to gleefully thank her administration for doing its job?

And that brings us to the Obama and Trump administrations, whose National Park Service has neglected to maintain not only America’s roadways but the Tidal Basin along the National Mall as well.

So, federal and local politicians just can’t keep up with our public works priorities. They can’t seem to push for overlays that keep potholes at bay for longer than year?

Remember that the next time Democrats tell President Trump no on spending our tax money for public works.

In the great debates on spending, we should at least demand what we already have paid for.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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