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City streets should be in list of council’s top projects for coming year

February 16, 2008
The Marshalltown City Council earlier this week released its list of goals for the coming year as well as a list of ongoing goals it hopes to see addressed.

It’s a good list.

Councilors want to address a variety of important issues in the community — from cracking down on stray animals to improving the city bus system.

We applaud their effort and know it certainly wasn’t an easy task.

But perhaps more input from the public should be added as both a goal and as a tool in developing the goals — especially in light of the numerous comments at the Times-Republican’s online site as well as in recent Talk Back calls.

It would appear the city may have missed the boat a bit when compiling, leaving out a pair of issues members of the public would like to see addressed during the coming year: the condition of Marshalltown’s streets and the city’s ability — or as some people claim, inability —to move snow.

The council did place street repairs in its list of “on-going” projects, but that’s not enough.

Marshalltown needs quality streets, not just a few repairs here and there over the next several years.

Yes, there are countless potholes — as there usually are this time of year — and those should be addressed. But a comprehensive street replacement plan also needs to be implemented — not sometime in the future, rather now.

“The last two times that I have visited Marshalltown, I could not believe how poorly the streets were maintained after snowfall(s), especially the alleys. I would definitely place doing a better job at snow removal at the top of the list. Leaves a real bad impression on visitors, as well as on community members,” wrote T-R Web site use mullentravis.

“And news travels, too. I was just in Ankeny yesterday, and people down there have heard about the horrible condition of our streets. I hate to think what that's doing to our local economy,” added user CycloneMom.

We couldn’t agree more.

The council should head back to the drawing board and rework its list of the top goals for the coming year to include a comprehensive street repair and replacement plan.

In the on-going list, the council should add snow removal efforts. While we understand this has been one of the worst years for snowfall in a long time, isn’t that what we should always be prepared for?

Our city’s list of goals leaves a few things to be desired. We encourage the council to update its list and respond to the public’s concerns.

After all, shouldn’t listening to the public be a top priority for any elected official?


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