County mum after pothole protest
County commissioners had no substantive response Monday after a resident asked that a lengthy complaint and threat of tax boycott over county roads be read to them.
Jerry Mendoza, an Aulne resident who with his wife consults about business matters after having run the now-defunct Dorothy’s Coffee Shop and Tea Room in Marion, complained about 140th Rd. between Sunflower and Pawnee Rds.
When he moved to Aulne in October 2019, the road was asphalt and in good condition, he wrote.
“Just a little over two years later, we find that same road in a condition that is more gravel than actual good asphalt,” he wrote.
Attempts to repair it “usually consist of filling the holes with more gravel and moving on,” he wrote. “Cars tend to experience fish tailing when those patches are encountered. And after a short time, that hole reappears, sometimes larger than before.”
He also cited problems with dust.
“We constantly have dirty vehicles because of the gravel road, and we can’t have the window open on nice days without having dirt and dust in our house.”
He said motorists couldn’t drive faster than 30 mph because they have to zigzag around potholes and complained about having to pay for wheel realignments necessitated by hitting them.
“The possibility of causing damage to the vehicles or even worse, resulting in a fatal accident, does not sit well with me as a taxpayer,” he wrote. “I am curious to know if, instead of sending in my scheduled payment for the first tax payment, I sent an invoice that included all the repairs that have been incurred due to the road conditions, would that encourage the repairs to be done quickly?”
He added that he was not the only resident contemplating doing just that.
“I know that this road is not the only road in need of repair,” he wrote, “but I also know that the repairs that have been done do not provide adequate safety and comfort that any resident of this county deserves and has a right to have provided to them.”
Commission chairman Randy Dallke provided the only response to Mendoza’s letter, noting only that the road had received substantial work shortly before Mendoza moved there.