Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trying to Be a Good Citizen!

Sometimes all you can do is lead 'em to water. The rest is up to them.

Case in point: Last week I received a regular updates from the City of Sioux Falls, which included information about today's municipal elections. Since the community occasionally flirts with the idea of "super precincts" and otherwise is given to play around with polling locations, I thought it best to follow a provided link to make sure we're still in the same place.

We are, but I noted that the address of the neighborhood school was wrong. The list of polling places said it's on South Fourth Street, but in this town there ain't no such animal. Streets run east-west; avenues run north-south, so you'll never find an address on South Forth Street. The proper venue is South Fourth Avenue. Not an issue for us veterans, but newcomers might be confused.1

So I, civic-minded as always, quickly dashed off e-mail to the entities indicated at the bottom of the list, viz., the County Auditor and the City Clerk.

In reasonably short order I received replies from each of them, thanking me for bringing the error to their attention.

And today comes another update from the city, with the link to the list of precinct polling locations...and the still-wrong street for Longfellow School.

Well, to be fair, both the County Auditor and the City Clerk merely thanked me for my efforts on behalf of clarity and accuracy; neither of them said anything about correcting the error.

1Indeed, anyone attempting to find number 1116, east or west, on Fourth Street in Sioux Falls will quickly find himself on the wrong side(s) of town entirely. In other places I've lived--specifically, Omaha--numbered streets and avenues conveniently run parallel, meaning you'd never be more than a block off if, say, someone told you Fourth Street instead of Fourth Avenue. Not so here. Another oddity of Sioux Falls' street numbering system is that the center of town is said to be the intersection of Phillips Avenue and Ninth Street, the location of City Hall. All well and good, but it confuses the heck out of people who are used to cities where, say, 1116 South Fourth Avenue would be found near the corner of Eleventh Street and Fourth Avenue--when in Sioux Falls it's on Fourth Avenue between Nineteenth and Twentieth streets. You gotta have your wits about you if you're going to drive in this burg.

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