City Government

Drowning In Bureaucracy

Looks like the GUARDIAN is forced to take back all the NICE THINGS we said about Boise Parks. See Swimming Upstream.

Last week we chided the Statesman a bit for the play they gave a story about a fallen tree blocking the Boise River, but not doing anything about getting signs posted to warn cold weather, high water river users of the danger.

We called the parks folks, worked our way down the chain of command and landed at Paul Woods. Nice guy, understood the problem, and promised to get something up next day to warn floaters. He even sent a foreman to check it out.

Next morning Woods called to apologize for possibly giving us the “wrong impression” and said #2 Guy Tom Governale had jurisdiction over river issues.

Governale called Monday to let us know they decided NOT to place warning signs upstream of the downed tree blocking the channel between the footbridge and Municipal Park behind Fish & Game headquarters. HE had gotten advice from “risk management people.”

Reason: “If we told people to go to the left and a tree fell on that side we could create a legal liability.”

We don’t know who advised Governale, but it would seem that since the city spent last summer asserting its AUTHORITY over the river for purposes of arresting people, they should accept RESPONSIBILITY for a danger when notified by the media and seeing it first hand.

They don’t argue the danger. In fact Governale said the Fire Department will try to remove the hazard once water levels are safer and Parks will offer assistance. They will accept responsibility to remove the tree because it is DANGEROUS, but they won’t warn people of the danger!!

The Statesman warns of the danger, the GUARDIAN warns of the danger and need for signs, but the city says they won’t install signs. However they will use resources of the city to remove the tree. Sorry, it makes no sense.

Explaining the reasons for not erecting signs, Governale also told us, “There are inherent dangers floating the river and people need to take some responsibility on their own.”

These are the same people who place signs at city ponds warning “DANGER, unsafe ice.” They will warn of thin ice, but not trees in the river?!

This is a good one for Mayor Bieter and his “Team Dave” crew to show some leadership and ORDER a couple of common sense signs be placed along the river.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Why does this make me think that we are paying too much taxes?

  2. Oh please. Who cares! If the Guardian editor was running the city everything would be handled much more efficiently. What ever happened the good old Idahoan spirit where people took care of themselves and didn’t depend on the government to help them with everything. If people are floating the river at this time of year they either don’t deserve a warning or they are resourceful enough to handle a tree in the river. Sometimes Mr. Guardian gets a little bit nit picky.

  3. The guy I feel sorry for is Paul Woods. Can you imagine the “discussion” he and Governale had the next morning when he told Governale he was going to put a warning sign up? Betcha that was a classic case of “don’t mess with my turf”.
    Shame on you Mr. Woods! What were you thinking?
    Another case of a well-meaning employee being taught that his loyalty is to the system, NOT the citizens.

  4. It surely wouldn’t be the first time the KentRockettes gave sky-is-falling-advice to City Departments on risk management. The other side of this, of course, is that claims paid out, are either directly or indirectly our tax dollars also. So from that standpoint Risk Management is a good thing. Sometimes though, like Mr. Woods’ initial impression, common sense should just be the order of the day. No Risk Manager, No Governale (whose very name means red tape I think) and no feasibility analysis. Just put up the sign and fuggetaboutit. Steavo, we’d all like it better if the Guardian ran the City and if Jimmy Smitz is elected president the entire nation can relax. BTW if Brandi had been elected this would all be water under the …..fallen tree. Right Porcupine?

  5. Tam
    It’s not to late for Brandi…. How about Ada County Commish? Brandi…Judy… Brandi… Judy. How can us poor taxpayers decide this one?

  6. I dunno, Brandi for Commissioner…hmmmm. Well, I guess they’ve all been swindelling us for awhile now…what could it hurt?

  7. Oh come on. I’m with Stevo. Just where would you put these signs? How many? What size would be adequate to warn potential users? What would the sign say? What color? Should they be lit? And while we’re at it should also warn about the other dangers like the dangerously high flow? How do we warn river users who may be blind? Ad absurdum.

    Hey I’ve got an idea. Lets publish a warning in the paper instead.

    ED NOTE–If the tree fell in the street and they couldn’t move it, they would put up a warning sign. If people are dumb enough to float in high water do you think they would read the paper?

  8. I wonder why The Guardian is surprised at having to deal with the bureaucratic merry-go -round? Have you ever had a serious problem with city or county services that requires simple common -sense to be repaired and found out you had to talk to 10 different people ( all of whom disclaimed responsibility, but only after they made you explain the problem for 10 minutes )I’m convinced some of them have a sadistic streak here. Finally the tenth one ” might help” – but by then your too exhausted to explain the situation to them. I suspect they do this on purpose.

    There’s got to be a silver-lining here somewhere- if one in ten bureaucrats can actually try to solve a problem lets decrease our city and county bureaucracy by 90% and save everybody money and a severe headache.

  9. I met Brandi at jury duty. I felt good just talking to her. She couldn’t do any worse than the current bureaucrats and I would feel better.

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