, Salem, MA

September 9, 2013

Letter; Thank you to Peabody

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

As a kid, it always seemed like potholes would continue to grow and become the thing of legends in size. When they were filled with rain water, we would dare one another to leap over them or even more risky, reach into the murky depths, anticipating something gross or monstrous. They were curious obstacles in the landscape of childhood.

When I first started to drive, they became threats to my tire and shock system. Over the last year, as three large potholes developed at the end of my driveway in such a way that it was impossible for me not to hit one of them, I grew leery about what to do. If my childhood was any indicator, they would grow ever larger until the entire street was paved over. Sure, I had heard of potholes being filled, but it always seemed like some magical process that included invoking the right amount of chants (or curses, maybe) at any one public official.

But, then, I was visiting the city of Peabody website ( and on the right-hand side was a very simple form called “Potholes.” It asked for name, email and location. I filled it out and hit send, thinking of it like wishing on a star: a whimsical gesture. I was surprised to come home less than 48 hours later to see that all three potholes had been filled.

We spend a lot of words on complaining about how the various levels of government don’t work. But I think it’s also important to recognize when government does things right. Having three potholes fixed in less than 48 hours after filling out a very simple form, is a good example. So, thank you, Peabody officials, for being efficient and responsive in this regard.

Lance Eaton