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SOS Some Obvious Suggestions

June 2, 2013

While waiting for the Rome’s mayoral candidates to come up with 7 points for a more sustainable city , here are some simple suggestions, actions which don’t even require any consensus or additional legislation:

  1. insist that the municipal police enforce the traffic code, ticketing and towing all motor vehicles that violate the law, including vendors parked in violation of code, and remove from duty those officers that neglect to perform their duties or violate the traffic code themselves.  (cost = 0, revenue = €millions)
  2. remove all illegal advertisements and fine the companies and their clients responsible for them (cost = €thousands, revenue = €millions)
  3. insist that AMA remove all trash from Rome’s public spaces, including abandoned vehicles, illegal dumping sites,  advertising and constructions (cost = 0, part of AMA’s existing job description)
  4. insist that AMA return all trash receptacles to their appointed locations and begin fining residents who use them inappropriately (such as putting paper, plastic or glass in the green bins). (cost = 0, part of AMA’s existing job description)
  5. require that all public transit respect published schedules and that employees be held accountable for not doing so (cost = 0, part of ATAC’s existing job description)
  6. ensure that all public employees and contractors perform adequately the jobs with which they are tasked (cost = 0, potential savings from eliminating ineffective jobs)
  7. place a moratorium on all construction projects in violation of the city’s master plan, regardless of variances which have been declared.  (cost savings from not paying for unnecessary infrastructure and services = €millions)

These actions are just ordinary maintenance, necessary to restore normality to a city which has fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years. They require decisiveness and determination by administrators, not new posts and programs.  Above all, they require inverting the perceived pyramid of public administration, placing the citizens at the top, civil servants working for directly for them, managers supporting civil servants, and at the bottom of the inverted pyramid the mayor working to make function the entire system.  Only once a minimum of decency has been restored, should projects to really improve the city (bike-sharing, new transit projects, cultural initiatives, smart-city infrastructure, etc.) be discussed.

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