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Woodstock Is Saving Money

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Woodstock Is Saving Money

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
June 29, 2008

Construction Barricade

- - or is it?

If a town places a barricade in the center of a street, should it be lighted at night?

This is such a silly question that it shouldn't even be asked!

A week ago on Saturday morning, I was driving north on Clay Street from the Square and came up a barricade in the center of the 500 block of Clay that had either been knocked down (not likely, since it wasn't mangled) or folded and laid down in the street (by some miscreant). Recognizing it as a hazard to passing motorists, I stopped and set it back up over the gravel surface of a repair job that had been started, but not finished.

I sent an email to Public Works (pwdept@woodstockil.gov) and informed them that the barricade had been restored to its proper position and I also suggested that a battery-powered, blinking light be placed on it as a warning to approaching motorists.

So far, so good; right?

On Monday night I drove by again and saw that no light had been placed on the barricade, so I sent another email asking about the light.

Have I received a reply to either email? No!

Actually, I would not even care if I didn't get a reply, if they took care of the problem. But, since they didn't take care of the problem, I expected an email, even if it informed me that the City didn't care whether someone ran over a flattened barricade in the street and caused a lot of damage to the underside of his car. Or even if the car left the roadway or ran into another car or hit a house. Shall I go on?

I have a habit of following up with the City when they don't attend to matters that need attention. A while back Tim Clifton wrote to me and told me that City employees would acknowledge my initial request, make their own decisions about action to be taken and that they would not continue to reply to my repeated requests.

OK, so where was the acknowledgement in this case?

A wise person once said, "If you don't have time to do the job right the first time, then you don't have time to do it over."

So tonight I am emailing Tim Clifton and asking what the City policy is about placing unlighted barricades in the center of a City street. My guess is that he is going to reply and tell me there should be a barricade in the street should be lighted. That's just common sense. You give a driver the proper warning of an obstruction in the street.

My question to him is: Why didn't Public Works just put a battery-powered blinking light on that barricade last Monday?


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