13 January 2007

$1.5 million worth of rubble...

I've always assumed that incompetence, much like ignorance - is universal.

However, when you live outside of DC, you tend to REALLY notice, the incompetence of DC.

It seems as though, someone in the DC Government approved a building permit for a house along side of popular Rock Creek Park. The only problem is - the house was allowed to be built in the BACK YARD of another house! Now, when the construction was about to begin in 2005, the neighbors complained to DC and like good ol'DC, their complaints fell on deaf ears. Nobody took the time to look into the problem. So, the house was built.

Now the neighborhood looks awful, original homeowners have an obstructed view and lawyers are pushing DC to make things right. "Right" meaning, pay the family that contracted the house to be built for their land and their home, pay the legal fees of the neighbors, and pay the cost of having the house DEMOLISHED. Total: >$1,500,000.00!!!!!

Proving that he was the Master of The Understatement, Patrick Canavan, the former Director of DC's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)said that this "was a costly mistake." He said that when this problem originally started, the DCRA didn't have a computer system to "safeguard against this happening." A COMPUTER SYSTEM?!?!?! What about having the keys to a city car and having a surveyor and a DCRA rep drive out to the site with some blueprints a pen a compass and some common sense? This isn't a COMPUTER PROBLEM, it is an INCOMPETENCE problem. It is a lack of motivation and a lack of folks giving a damn about the city they work for. This could have been stopped early on if someone had just taken the time to step outside of their cubicle, step outside of the office and go to the site and use some God-Gifted common sense and initiative.

Now, the cash strapped District of Columbia Government has thrown away $1.5 million dollars. Almost like they did 6 or 7 seven years ago by allowing themselves to be conned by Cadillac into funding a Gran Prix style racetrack by RFK stadium - that was only used once and then totally abandoned!

Considering the poor state of DC schools, the low salaries for teachers, police and fire fighters, the homeless around DC, the crime rate - I think that $1.5 million could and should have been better spent. It certainly would not have eliminated ANY of the above issues, but I think each could have been positively impacted with just a small portion of that wasted money... all because of INCOMPETENCE.



Angie said...

I work in the field that allowed the home to be built (planning/building inspections type stuff) and this is just abandonment. Apparently not one person got off their butt to investigate this complaint. They didn't even need a surveyor. A damn plat in your office could've cleared this up. Appraisal district files online could have done it too.

I wonder was anyone fired over this because they should've been.

Very sad and scary.

CreoleInDC said...

When I saw this story on the news...I walked away shaking my head. But hey...I did the same thing when I read how much Fenty spent on his inaugural ball too. *sigh* Sure it was donated...but donated money could have done some good too right? RIGHT?

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hello ANGIE How are you doing? I'm REALLY glad that someone in this field left a comment. I was hoping that maybe I was over simplyfing the solution [or prevention] to this problem. Sadly I was wrong. All it takes sometimes is just SOME effort, I can't believe this happened.

Hi there CREOLE. I'm with you 100%. Sometimes Government officals need to say, "Instead of using money for this thing that may not be significant, let's use it for THIS THING, that is." That's all it takes sometimes. Focus on what you CAN do, not on what you may WANT to do.

Fenty is doing a lot of big talking about making education his top priority. Okay - I can get behind that. I'm a big education proponent. But the key - THE TRUE KEY in a successful education plan is PARENTAL REINFORCEMENT. Sadly, we have so many young people here in DC without proper parental reinforcement for any one of a hundred reasons, I would have loved to have seen that $1.5 million going towards a special program for parents, to help them learn to help their kids. I'm sure many parents could use help with stategies and advice on helping their kids get better grades. But alas, DC just used that money to buy a giant pile of rubble.

Peace, Sista's-

TDJ said...

Hubby and I were watching this story on the news and when it ended, we just looked at each other and shook our heads. The sad part is - I'm not shocked anymore by anything that I hear involving the DC government. My dad is a DC cop, so I may start telling some stories on my blog about the ridiculous antics within the department.

Angie said...

I don't know all of the facts, but if a person comes in the office saying somebody is building a house in their backyard, SOMEBODY should think it was worth it to do a little investigating. The bare minimum investigation should've been enough to put a stop to the building permits until it was cleared up...unless there is something about the property plat or survey we as bystanders don't know about.

Crazy story.

CreoleInDC said...

What's even more crazy is that you just KNOW this isn't the last time something like this will give us pause. *sigh*

My husband and I volunteered at DC Central Kitchen recently. When you see 4,000 homeless people and then read about incompetance such as this...it makes you wonder if it will EVER get better in favor of those who really need help.

Tasha said...

I agree w/you creole...I currently volunteer with the mentally ill population of DC and some displaced veterans, and it saddens me to see how little monetary resources they have. So when I hear about wasteful spending and incompetence such as this, I seriously question and doubt the city's/politicians' devotion to the disenfranchised and just average people they're supposed to be serving.

That $1.5 million dollars they wasted could have been used to buy some books for school or feed and house families or provide a subsidy for the AIDS medication needed by so much of the population of this city. Shame.

Mad Cabbie said...

$1.5 Million is a drop in a bucket considering what the DC government is spending of hundreds of millions of dollars in pay rolls over the years for those unqualified retards in managements pulling 100K/year for doing nothing!

TDJ said...

And ya'll know we could talk about the new baseball stadium for days! I get disgusted everytime I'm on South Capitol Street.

Gunfighter said...


You know I love DC... I truly do, but it breaks my heart when I hear stories like this.

I saw the report in the news and I too, just shook my head.

It amazes me that the city even stays afloat.

Lola Gets said...

I just hope that in the process of "removing" the house, they re-use and recycle some of the materials, so its not a complete and total loss!