Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Fighting city hall with humor and a dash of snark

What would you do if the  potholes on your street were getting so large the postal truck was gettingbrstuck in them?

You might start bybrgoing to the city offices to find out who is in charge of street repairs. Nobrone is? OK, your next step might be to talk with city council membersbrpersonally about it. No answers there? Maybe you’d try and get the mayor’s help.

But what if two years later the potholes were still multiplying like Tribbles on the the StarshipbrEnterprise? In today’s ugly political climate that might be about the timebrinsults started to fly on the various social media platforms. But onebrneighborhood in Elk Ridge took their complaints to social media with humor and style.

In 2016 neighbors living along Shuler Lane created the Chuck Pothole page on Facebook to ventbrtheir frustrations that they weren’t able to get the city to fix their road. They began with a few snarky memes figuring it would maybe last a few months, abryear tops. Three years later, Chuck has really taken on a life of his own. The intro on Chuck Pothole’s Facebook page says, “The Lord said multiply and replenish,brso I’m a pothole on a mission, rocking the roads of Elk Ridge.”

According to his profile , Chuck works as an Executive Bumper Demolition Expert and hisbrrelationship status is “complicated”. For a pothole, Chuck is a fairlybrhappening fellow. He follows the BYU/U of U rivalry, loves Broadway tunes,brloves Rocky Road ice cream, and is a huge fan of Shark Week.

And the memes keep coming, with new meme ideas being sent to Chuck from fans all over the area andbreven out of state.  Neighbors wanted tobrhave their concerns heard, but didn’t want it to turn into an uglybrconfrontation with their city’s elected officials.

Knowing the city officals are also their neighbors, they’ve kept names out of the discourse andbrhave made a point not to attack anyone in social media.

“Elk Ridge is a wonderful community. We love our mayor and city council members,” said onebrShuler Lane neighbor. “We appreciate all they do for our community. But we alsobrknow the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So, Chuck is just going to keep squeakingbrtill the road gets replaced.”

The only option the city has given neighbors was to widen the road significantly, taking severalbrfeet of property from neighbors on both sides of the road to accommodate futurebrgrowth.

With the Payson City Golf Course at the top of the lane, agricultural properties and the amount of available  lots left in the area, neighbors expressed concerns that the upgradesbrthe city suggested are costly prohibitive and unnecessary.

“We all pay ourbrtaxes,” said another Shuler Lane Neighbor. “We just want our road to be safebrand easy to travel on like everyone else in town does. A lot of roads thatbraren’t near as bad as ours have been repaved a couple of times while ours isbrstill like Swiss Cheese.”

With fall upon us,brneighbors aren’t looking forward to dealing with Chuck for another season ofbrtire damage, dented bumpers and loose fillings. But instead of getting angry,brthey plan to keep applying their own humorous brand of political pressure. (ServebrDaily submission.)

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