Barking Bellyachers

Posted on Friday 1 August 2008

Lots of grumbling going on in downtown Spur as our old sidewalks are torn out to make way for new ones. And it is a mess. I walk my dogs down Burlington between 6 and 6:30 every morning, and the crew working on the project is already on the job their jackhammers reverberating. I know this is an inconvenience for the businesses and their customers, and I will soon be able to empathize completely as they make their way down to the block where the newspaper office is located. Ahh, the sounds of progress…

…and the gripes which go with it. No one understands this corelation better at the moment than City of Spur Superintendent Tony Mayfield. He called me this week to complain about the flak he has received as a result of the sidewalk project and a statement he made to the city council at their July 15 regular meeting that was printed in the newspaper July 24. Tony is concerned that the sidewalks will have to be torn out again if the city gets a grant they have applied for to replace water lines. Tony has continued to reiterate to me, in an interview for the paper (”City council sides with sidewalk improvements” July 3) and again in an article which appeared in the July 24 issue covering his statement made to the council on July 15, that he is not against the sidewalk improvements. From what Tony tells me, sidewalk project proponents have labeled him as “anti-city”, or anti-progress for the city. But, like he told the city council at their July 15 regular meeting (and not printed in our July 24 article): “I have never said that I didn’t want new sidewalks…what I said several times is that we are trying for a much needed water line grant for Burlington that would entail demolition of certain sections of sidewalks making this sidewalk grant cost the taxpayers twice. I simply believe that the city has put the cart before the horse.”

There may actually be more people who agree with Tony than not. Tony just can’t hear their responses above the ones of those who accuse him. It kind of reminds me of the “twilight bark”. If you can’t remember the meaning of this term from the Disney-animated movie 101 Dalmations, let me refresh you. To save the little Dalmation puppies, all the dogs in town resort to the “twilight bark” to alert the neighborhood about their capture.

“The twilight bark? That’s only a gossip chain.”

“Darling, it’s the very fastest way to send news.”

So the twilight bark is where one dog begins barking, followed by another, then another, then another…then before long everyone is barking. At some point I wonder if any of us know what we’re barking about. And, what was the point when we began? We must be careful, or I fear we might resort to sniffing one another’s butts.

5 Comments for 'Barking Bellyachers'

    September 3, 2008 | 9:58 pm

    Installing 2 sidewalks doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either, but I’m not a contractor.

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