Mayor's State of the City Report ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mayor's State of the City Report

It's amazingly brief
and disappointingly short
talking 'bout the state of the city report

I give the mayor and our finance department credit for maintaining our excellent bond rating. It seems we are doing what we need to do to attract police officers, but the proof is in the pudding--and we are not there yet.

She talks about how our police department is accredited, which is true, but what does it really mean to we the residents? She talks about how the recreation and parks department is seeking accreditation, which is nice and that department is among the best managed and service-oriented in our fair city, but I'll focus on the one thing in the report about which I am most familiar and that is our transportation department.

You know, the one with all the broken down and dirty buses? The one that just cut a number of routes? The one that can't maintain its signs, buses or its own facility? The one that is widely regarded as being uncaring and out of touch with its customers? The one whose director (with over 25 years service) is often away for as many as four week vacations? The one which she leaves in charge of a marginally qualified individual with severe health and medical problems and things going on about which I can't report until I substantiate their veracity? Yeah, that one. And what does the Mayor say about it?

In her words, "our transportation department has received national recognition."

Okay, let's be honest. She is referring to a recognition when yours truly served as the department's marketing specialist. We had brought about a number of changes and improvements and at that time I wrote an application to a national transportation magazine called Metro (in which I have since been published a few times) and Metro named Annapolis Transit as one of the ten most improved transit systems in the US. Okay, that was six years ago! Yet so many of the changes and improvements which we worked so hard to bring about many years ago have been abandoned, disregarded or dropped. It's just so silly that she can't find a good thing to say about what the department is now doing that she refers obliquely to a recognition it got six years ago!

Is there not a single good thing it has done in the last year or two about which the mayor can write? Who knows? They no longer produce a public annual report of accomplishments, performance data or outlook for the coming year. It used to go out to elected officials, business and civic leaders, news media and others, usually after waiting for the director to take her sweet time in approving it (I came to understand that she really never wanted such reports to go out...) That annual report, along with so many other things that led us to get the recognition for improvement in the first place, started and apparently ended with my tenure there.

Read the state of the city here:

Learn about the department of transportation at on what's left of the once extremely popular and extensive web pages we created many years ago, most of which has since been whittled down and rarely upgraded.


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