You know things are bad in the bureaucratic red-tape department when you're thinking of resorting to videotaping events just to see how bad it is.
That's what Galveston is thinking of doing, since getting hit with a ton of complaints that people trying to re-build after Ike (yeah, the same Ike that was a couple of years ago) are running into intractable and sometimes aggressive bureaucratic interference.
The Galveston County Daily News reports that the city is considering installing the cameras -- as an equivalent to the dashboard cameras cops use -- especially since one of the chief complainers is the wife of a local judge.
The changes follow a very public complaint by Sherry Mallia, the wife of state District Judge Wayne Mallia. Sherry Mallia earlier this month posted a hand-painted sign at her Lost Bayou Historic District house with the message: "The city of Galveston discourages rebuilding."
She said she was driven to do so after encountering what she described as frustrating delays and bad attitudes from some employees in the planning department as her family attempts to make hurricane repairs to a Victorian-era house.
Yeah, you don't want a judge's wife up against you, especially one ballsy enough to broadcast her complaints.
City officials told the paper ""all employees should be respectful in their dealings with permit applicants.
But city officials said there are two sides to every story.
The city has been overwhelmed with permit business in the wake of the 2008 storm. Still, going to the videotape is pretty much admitting that things are screwed up.
As for Mallia, she's hopeful the new mayor will improve things: Joe Jaworski came by her house last week.
"The mayor came to my door, sat on my porch for 30 minutes and drank coffee and showed me that he cared," Mallia said. "I feel like he listened to me. I hope this helps a lot of people."
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