Friday, July 8, 2011

How to Get Respect

"We demand respect." Municipal government workers march on Plaza Bolívar: 
City government employees marched on Plaza Bolívar today, demanding respect amongst a huge scandal involving the express bus expansion project which has the mayor suspended from office and facing probable trial and his senator brother in prison.

The scandal has dirtied the image of the left-wing Polo Democratico Party just as the campaign for mayor gets going.

In today's protest, the public workers demanded that they all not be be tarred with the same brush. But public employees will have a hard time changing their image by taking time off of work to march across Plaza Bolívar. Rather, they might consider cracking down and actually getting things done.

The Transmilenio and many other public works projects drag on and on. This is not all the fault of public employees, but they could crack the whip to get things done.

In many cases, public services are rotten. These past weeks, we and the neighbors have called multiple times to get street lights repaired and the telephone, service provided by publicly-owned ETB, repaired. The light's finally on, but the telephone's still overwhelmed by static.

It's obvious that nobody bothers to enforce laws on air and water pollution. Plans to clean up the fetid Bogotá River never seem to advance.

Get a few things done, and Bogotá residents' respect for government employees will rise. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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