We’re in the thick of another hotly contested political season, so many of us have government front-and-center on our minds. And many have already grown tired of the drama and rhetoric, wondering if anyone out there has the skill set and common sense to return the country to a practical, logical path.
In that spirit, here are various local government-related observations that have occurred to this humble taxpayer over the past few weeks. You might relate to some of these points, disagree with others, even call some of the observations cynical — but hopefully you find at least one of them entertaining enough to keep reading.
• We’re always being told by government to conserve water, and yet it appears that public agencies are often among the worst offenders of watering the streets in our suburban communities. Take a drive in neighborhoods and by public facilities in Folsom or El Dorado Hills in the evening just after watering time, and you’ll receive a free car wash. I imagine it’s probably not too difficult to fix the problem, but I haven’t paid for a car wash in years.
• Here’s a creative idea: Imagine if we could conserve all the water that government agencies waste, maybe that would help us avoid the so-called illegal fire tax currently being extorted from homeowners in the county and state. Yes, the illegal fire tax is not about water, but last I checked water can be used to put out fires — even bogus political ones.
• Kudos to the El Dorado County Department of Transportation for securing grant funds to address the horrid conditions on Francisco Drive in El Dorado Hills between Green Valley Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard. Aside from being personally offended that a road named after the family could be maintained so poorly, the road currently resembles a Roman-era cobblestone path not fit for horse-drawn carriages let alone cars. The neighborhood walking paths and sidewalks would be better surfaces to drive on. We’re not sure when the road will be upgraded to standard operating conditions, but the county has announced they have secured the funds and are working on it. Take a bow!
• Let’s shift to schools for a few moments. Our sons’ El Dorado Hills schools started their new school year on Aug. 9. It is rumored that school will start in 2013 on July 4. The school superintendents were overheard saying what could be more American than celebrating the country’s independence while in class. It is also rumored that the California Legislature is working on yet another critical measure: Abolishing summer. At least one advocate group funded by surfers is lobbying heavily against it.
• Speaking of schools, there are obviously a lot of advanced degrees and education experts operating in our communities. So it makes you wonder how such illogical school schedules are created for our pre-teens and teens. Our sixth grader eats lunch at 10:40 in the morning. He comes home craving dinner at 4 p.m. like a senior citizen seeking the elderly meal discount at Denny’s.
• And studies say teenagers need up to nine hours of sleep. So let’s be sure they start their school day at 7:45 a.m. — earlier if they have to travel to school by bus — and release them from school by 2 p.m. That way parents who work can either lock their child up at home to play video games and drink soda or go hang out with their friends and dream of ways to get in trouble until Mom and Dad get home. I know the schools have explanations for these schedules, but it doesn’t take a Ph.D to wonder where the logic has gone.
Dan Francisco is an El Dorado Hills-based public relations consultant to the high-tech industry.