Rhodes on Roads- Issues not always as difficult as first thought

Sometimes when we?re faced with a problem, the solution can be either difficult or simple.

Recently I was handed a 37-year-old contract between the county and a property owner. The contract stated the county would pave and maintain a driveway from the road up to their garage?a distance of about 200 yards?for as long as anyone lived in the house and as long as the county used a portion of their land next to the road as a spot to stock material for use on the roads.

What was this all about? What did the property owners want?Are we being asked to repair their drive again?

I tried for several days to contact the folks to see what the issue might be. In the meantime we went into a sort of damage-control mode.

Let me stop here and tell you a story before I tell you what they wanted.

One day a woman called a playground equipment company and ordered a swing set to be installed where a big oak tree stood in her backyard. The sales department turned the request over to the design department.

After three days of design work it was turned over to the production department, which took four days to construct the items. Then the project went to the paint department, which used three gallons of red, white and blue paint to paint it.

The project then went to the installation department, which drove to the site with chainsaws, a bulldozer and a backhoe. Workers cut down the big oak tree, leveled the site and installed the swing set.

When the woman came home that evening, she went to look at the swing set, then called the company and said, ?All I wanted was a rope tied around a limb on the oak tree you cut down with a car tire tied to the rope.?

Back to the original problem. All the folks with the contract wanted of the county was to have two or three potholes filled.

Editor?s note: Martin Rhodes resigned Oct. 31 as director of public works for Marion County. Even so, we feel his series of articles on county roads is of public interest and we plan to complete the series

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