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?