In response to my blog about a town in Germany selling potholes to citizens who pay to have them filled in, a reader has reminded me that this idea is not new — in fact, it was done in Baltimore before, during the administration of former Mayor William Donald Schaefer.
“Schaefer famously sold pothole repairs when he was Mayor. The repairs could be dedicated to a loved one, a red heart was painted over the patch and a certificate issued. A number of them are still visible around Baltimore. We have one on our block that we’re planning to ‘restore’ as a tribute to our great Mayor.”
As a former member of Mayor Schaefer’s staff during the ’70s, I should have remembered that getting potholes filled was one of his priorities — part of his detail-oriented, “do it now” approach to governance that won over voters — and involving the citizens of Baltimore was one of his greatest achievements.
I stand corrected.