I hate to be one of those cranks that never has a good thing to say about the city, but a couple of things happened today that left me shaking my head and muttering to myself.

First, I finally got a call back from our city’s graffiti abatement coordinator. Perhaps I’m confused by this fancy title, but it seems like she should be pretty knowledgeable about ways to, you know, curb graffiti. I’d called her to get an "official" response to Times Ten’s Kert Platner’s question of whether murals generally translate into less targeting by taggers and graffiti artists. I can’t access her voice mail right now to quote her directly, but, to paraphrase, she basically said she a couple others at the city had been "having discussions" over just that question, but that she couldn’t give me any kind of response until late February. She was just giving me a "courtesy call" (five days later, mind you) to let me know she’s received my message, but didn’t have anything to say to me at this time. Seriously? It’s going to take a month for the person in charge of our city’s graffiti program to answer a simple question? Even 311 works faster than that.

So then I pull up in my driveway about 30 minutes ago and guess what’s in my front yard? A second blue recycling bin that I can’t use. And this after the head of the recycling program confirmed for me that I live in an area where the bins are useless. (I use a lot of italics when I’m frustrated.)

I know this recycling subject has been beat to death, but I’m seriously flummoxed by the way the city works. Any theories on how Dallas got this way?

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