The Case of the Broken Drinking Fountain

In a small city park in West San Jose, there’s a drinking fountain that’s in need of repair. The fountain’s water source has been shut off, presumably until repairs can be made. The water fountain has been “closed” at Gullo Park for not just the past few weeks, or even a month, it’s been unusable for most of this past year.

The case of this broken drinking fountain came to my attention firsthand, almost nine months ago while on a run one weekend afternoon. I detoured through the park with the hope of getting a quick drink. I noticed that the fountain was leaking at its base and that when you pressed the button, the water barely came out at all. I called the city to report the condition of the fountain.

A few weeks later, I noticed that the city’s “solution” to the problem was to shut the fountain off completely. Several months later (after finding that the fountain still hadn’t been fixed) I talked to a different city employee who told me that a certain part was needed, that its was a major repair, and that it would require a lot of digging, etc. I asked, why the city couldn’t just install a new drinking fountain. The answer was given that a new unit would cost around $2,800, and that given the city’s budget situation, nothing would happen any time soon.

This account would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad. Rather than repairing or replacing a park drinking fountain, the city decides to shut it down. How is it possible, that the city cannot repair or replace such a basic and necessary piece of broken equipment? This is how cities in the Third World operate. Has the City of San Jose really fallen this far?


  1. Pete,
    If you had seen the parks “workers” at the park I visited this morning and witnessed their version of “work”, you’d understand why nothing ever gets taken care of properly. It’s obvious that these guys have NO interest nor do they take an iota of pride in the parks as they lazily shamble around, pretending to work, putting in the required time to rack up their sick leave and accumulate a generous pension.
    (See, Officer X. I don’t just pick on the SJPD)

  2. Gosh, Pete, you can’t have everything!  C’mon, SJ government gave you a billion dollar City Hall and a two billion dollar airport.  And you’re whining about a broken drinking fountain?!?!

  3. “This is how cities in the Third World operate. Has the City of San Jose really fallen this far?”

    Which third world countries are you talking about Pete?  Have you been lately?  I know… I know… I’ve <a >I pushed some less then relevant content</a> through for productions sake in my day but this is weak.  Currently I am residing in a Thailand, and that’s still considered third world, and you know what? Thats not how third worlders do it Petey.  That is an Epic generalization of third world peoples societies.  In Thailand if a drinking fountain is broken Average Joe Citizen will take care of it with spare parts he has lying around his business.  Typically that’d be in this scenario, a shovel some pvc pipe and glue.
    In the third world it’s not punishable by fines and imprisonment to earn some merit in your community by doing a selfless act (volunteering)and providing a solution to a problem without filing the proper permits and applying for the necessary permissions. Even if the end result is ugly and cumbersome locals are glad that they can still get that lifeblood (water). 

    Any shortcoming the city of San Jose has is not because it has fallen. It is because the city dove to that depth.  Take some responsibility, be accountable and stop with the “third world” cliches. Ignorant.  If you don’t believe me just ask Mr. Singh he likes to travel.

    • If you’re gonna moderate out my link at least take the HTML tags out completely.  Damn moderator must work for maintenance dept. of parks and rec.

      On another note:  Guess I won’t be posting any links to SJI anymore from the alternative.  Thanks for the reciprocity.

  4. Why is the city paying $2,800 for a drinking fountain?  I find it very difficult to believe something like that couldn’t be acquired for under $1000.

    • Have you forgotten the $900 govt. procured hammers of the 80’s?  Inflation, Dude.

      Well, they’d have to send out an RFP.  That’ll take 6 months.  After all, that’s what it’s supposed to take for the City to get an RFP out to replace Team SJ

      • … and don’t forget they have to find some way to select a small, minority-owned business too. 

        And since the SJ Concilwhores have nothing better to do than intrude on our lives, the matter may well reach their agenda. 

        Of course, the Concilwhores will take measures to outlaw all public water fountains because porcelain is not easily recycled.