The Nightmare on North Hughes street/ The Emperor’s New Clothes!

by Fransetta Crow
photos by Garrick Hendrix |

Long -Time -No see , is what we use say to each other when we hadn’t seen or heard from a friend or family member, so that’s what I’m opening this conversation off with you. The last article that I submitted was April 26th 2010 . It was entitled ” The  Silent Majority, Who will speak for them?

The Blog before that was entitled ” A Picture Paints A Thousand  Words” on March 2010 and I evidently made a few people angry at the City. I also addressed two other blogs concerning the North Hughes SIDEWALK project, which has been implemented or managed by the Engineering department of the City of Amarillo, using Federal Funding thur the Community Development Block Grant Program and the Stimulus Program, not City funding from our Tax Revenue.  I stated that I would come back online at the end of this project and let the final results speak for it’s self.

Well The sidewalk projests last day was Saturday the 7th and much to my surprise I was shocked at the condition of North Hughes street and the poor, disgraceful substandard job that has been forced on the pedestrians in the  North Heights , North Hughes Sidewalk Night mare. If I had to compare this experience , with a story to express the utter madness that has been done I would have to call the story ” The EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES.” What  a sad commentary for our city and those who represent us and are suppose to make sure we all are treated justly and not discriminated against as property owners , Tax payers and residents of this city.

On the last blog I commented on the poor condition and quality of work that was being done with little  input from the community, not even the ones who had written the project narrative to apply for the money to finally put Complete and Continuous sidewalks on the main thurfare of a low income, targeted community that qualified for them over 40 to 70 years ago. Many people wondered and questioned why we didn’t have sidewalks since the ADA Act was enforced, but  the City of Amarillo did not comply, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the disabled pedestrians that lived in the community and were forced to be in harms way as many others , Youth , Senior Citizens and others who wanted to walk in a user friendly area out of harms way.

The second reason we wanted and requested Sidewalks was to improve the infrastructure of the community, and bring the street into some type of conformity . This was suppose to have been a positive project for the community, the City and the property owners . This project implemented in the right spirit should have been a win-win project for The City of Amarillo, and our City leaders , but I am sad to say has been the direct opposite and this has been a Nightmare for many of the property owners, with no recourse but to accept what the City Engineer and the other businesses that contracted out to do the job has uncaringly forced  upon the victims of North Amarillo with substandard work , using substandard material, to do the job at the orders from our Mayor and Engineering Department. It is my opinion that our City managers that we voted into office to serve us have turned a deaf ear to us and have their own personal agenda. They show little respect for improving the other communities and only seem to be interested in the Downtown Revitalization / Reinvestment project.

A few months back Dexter Harper took pictures of the sidewalks and posted them on Black , these were pictures that allowed the whole world to see the quality of work the construction company was doing. Complaints were made, phone calls to the Mayor requesting her help and a response to confirm what she and the other Commissioners ,who all reside in Southwest Amarillo promised all the communities during election time,but when the opportunity to prove that they were truly dedicated to serving us failed and when the property owners, spoke up and voiced their concerns they were given unprofessional responses , some ever were intimidated, received character assignations and ignored thus  leaving them helpless without any recourse. NOW DO WE SEE WHY WE NEED SINGLE MEMBER DISTRICTS AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE REVISIT THIS ISSUE TO BE PUT BACK ON THE BALLOT AND LET THE VOTERS DECIDE AGAIN.

Let’s cut to the chase. What we see is a substandard job, Many property owners property disturbed, and some not or poorly repaired, many handicapped ramps not meeting code as well as the retainer walls on some property damaged and half patched if not skipped around completely. There are cracked side walks, and due to them hauling bad soil in they gave us weeds along the sidewalks which is something we didn’t have before they did the work . There were trees that were removed and not taken care of properly with the process to kill the roots so there fore we have tree twigs growing back where they were paid to remove them. Now after all this we have the final blow!!!! To attempt to cover up the poor quality of service we have been given , they have put sod down, that was already dead when they laid it and in a few day’s it will be dead and then it will turn gray and this is what the end results and the  final results that will be a blemish along with the poorly installed sidewalks forever that this community and property owners will have to live with . There are those that feel that there is nothing wrong with the sidewalks.They are saying that it’s better than what we had, well I say to you, YES WE ARE HAPPY TO HAVE AT LEAST A PATCH WORKED EFFORT Of  SIDEWALKS  because we didn’t have that. I for one cannot accept that as an excuse for insulting the community and mishandling and wasting money just to humiliate the community and make a joke out of a positive effort to attempt to improve the community and make it safe for the pedestrians that live and use these sidewalks. The City Of Amarillo is in violation of their own ordinances by refusing to apply the  rules and guidelines that apply not just for one side of Amarillo, but to all residents , property owners and tax payers. You have seen the first pictures at the begining. Hopefully we can get Dexter Harper to take the final pictures and let the public see the final sad, disgusting substandard, wasted money or cutback on the funding that is the end results of THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES or THE NIGHTMARE ON HUGHES STREET!

If you would like to see the Sidewalks that will go down in history as the Joke of Amarillo in 2010.  It will let the world know of the racial injustice that still exitst in the West Texas Panhandle.   Contact Dexter and request that he show pictures and  the final results of a positive attempt made by a few residents in a voluntary  effort to make a good change for everyone in the community of North Amarillo, but was turned into a  cruel and and an unprofessional  game by some mean spirited people that we thought had our best interest at hand and intended to be our servants but instead looks like The Joke of the CENTURY!! Wasted TIME and WASTED MONEYI WISH I COULD FIND SOMEBODY WHO CAN TELL ME Just EXACTLY HOW MUCH MONEY WAS SPENT ON THIS PROJECT. I Thought that fell under the PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT. Your comment will be greatly appreciated.

I’m BACK !!!


Copyright 2010 – Fransetta Crow. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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  1. avatar leigh cravin says:

    Glad you are back. Well said, but you know and I know that this is “business as usual” for certain folks, by certain folks. The root of this mess is the answer that the man gave when asked, “What does apathy mean?” His response, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” You have a healthy dose of both in this town and the folks “downtown” know it. Their basic attitude is “just wait ’em out” this will blow over. It is a disgrace.

    I agree that single member districts should be put back on the agenda and someone to run for mayor and raise the public conscience. Unfortunately what you have in this town is a poorly educated community of folks “working for the man” to survive on less than living wages who can’t afford to “buck the system.” Let’s face that one truth. Then you have the “kiss-up” element that always comes out with “Well, at least THEY did something.” Slave mentality coupled with “let’s just leave well enough alone” mentality.

    This is a backward community dripping in apathy and fear and and it extends beyond the sidewalks on Hughes. But let someone get shot on one of these Hughes sidewalks and see how fast the local media sends a crew out to do a story. You get my drift. Keep up the good fight! Welcome back.o do a story. You get my drift. Keep up the good fight! Welcome back.