Beginning last May, Dist. 7 City Councilman Howard Shook donned his walking shoes and, armed with a notepad and camera, began walking every street in his district, recording problems the city needed to correct.

Now Shook is reporting on how the various city agencies have done in addressing the problems he noted after 100 days.

“Watershed Management, hardly known for their customer service, immediately began responding to their list of items and kept me apprised of their work via a regularly updated spreadsheet,” Shook said.

He reported that Watershed Management’s items consisted of potholes associated with water valves, failed patches and/or sinkholes, damaged storm drain intakes, steel plates, and damaged water meter lids in sidewalks.

“As of this writing (the first week in September,) only one unattended sinkhole and one sidewalk meter problem remain,” Shook added. He commended former Deputy Commissioner Sheila Pierce, who has since left the department, saying she “deserves high marks for her continued responsiveness under difficult conditions.”

He said two problems were forwarded to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “One, a dead tree in the Garden Hills playground, has been taken care of,” Shook said. “There remains an inoperative streetlight on that property.”

Shook said the Fire Rescue Department “still needs to repair the single broken hydrant I encountered.”

The Buckhead councilman said that, although the Public Works Department repaired most of the potholes and completely repaved two really bad streets, “they still need to address several damaged street signs, broken sidewalk segments, damaged curbing, and the three short new subdivision streets that never received a final coat of pavement.”

Shook said he has notified each of the departments of the remaining items.

“Please note that this, of course, does not mean we don’t have new steel plates and other problems that have cropped up during the past 100 days,” explained Shook.

“The biggest infrastructure problems – our need to repave several dozen streets and repair numerous mature sidewalks – can only be addressed through the identification of a significant new funding source,” he said.

–John Schaffner

John Schaffner was founding editor of Reporter Newspapers.