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New Management and Reforms Needed at City's Public Works Department to Help Protect Public Safety

Tom Reavey Jr
One of the two now-missing crosswalks at Florence Drive and Sonora Springs; faint evidence of the former crosswalk is visible towards the back.


A rash of recent deadly pedestrian crashes and dozens more of them over the last few years in Las Cruces should make anyone want to implement simple commonsense actions like repainting crosswalks back on streets where they've worn off and consider other helpful actions to take to help save lives. Which is why the City of Las Cruces' refusal to re-paint back on missing crosswalks at Florence Drive and Sonora Springs Boulevard in Sonoma Ranch is so puzzling. When challenged on this refusal, City staff offered a series of nonsensical excuses about why they weren't simply re-painting the crosswalk back on. Even after appealing to the Mayor and Council about it several times, nothing has been done. Why? Obviously, failing to re-paint a crosswalk back onto the street seriously endangers public safety and exposes the City to liability if an accident occurred.

And it's not just this glaring example, there are almost a half-dozen similar failures to act to protect public safety by the City's Public Works Department over the years that I've experienced and fought against to little or no avail. Collapsed city storm drains go unfixed, dangerous holes on the side of the road go unfilled, dangerous holes on the sides of sidewalks go unfilled, dangerous heaving trip and falls sidewalks never get fixed, weeds and debris fill City storm drains and never get removed thus making them nearly useless in a storm, and sometimes even potholes are refused to be filled by this department saying they are "just cracks." Something is seriously wrong with the culture at Public Works because the duty of care and responsibility to public safety has been seemingly completely forgotten and indeed, actively denied. Things must not be this way!

So, the Las Cruces Mayor and City Council must act immediately to bring new management and reforms to Public Works so we can get the City's many accumulating public safety problems that are under Public Works' responsibilities fixed as soon as possible. Think of the lives we could save just by repainting missing crosswalks back on the roads all over the City not in just this one example! Much has been written and said about it over the years and much of the general public knows that the City is very difficult to deal with for no good reason and indeed Las Cruces has been tagged with the sad but true moniker of "Lost Causes" but now is the time to change that in the interest of a better and safer city for all. Please Mayor and Council show that you care about the people of Las Cruces and their safety by getting new management and reforms at Public Works that will at least re-paint crosswalks back on the streets where they're now missing and hopefully do a whole lot more for us. Thank you.

Sincerely, Tom Reavey Jr, Mayor's Community Service Citation Recipient