Roads

12-Year-Old Michigan Boy Fills Neighborhood's Potholes Because the Government Won't

He's taken it upon himself to do what the government is apparently incapable of.

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A 12-year-old Michigan boy has taken it upon himself to do what the government can't seem to manage.

Monte Scott of Muskegon Heights used a garbage can full of dirt to fill at least 15 potholes near his family's home last week. "I didn't want people messing up their cars like my mom did," he told WZZM. "If somebody were to drive down the street and hit a pothole, and then would have to pay like $600-700 to get their car fixed, they would be mad."

Scott has gone viral in recent days after a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday showed him at work:

"He really got a garbage can filling these potholes," a woman can be heard saying in the video. "Because his granny drive down this street and they down here."

WZZM/screenshot

Scott told the Muskegon Times he's wanted to fill potholes for months, and finally did so following a half-day at school. "People complain and complain, and the city never fills them up," he said. "And I feel horrible because they never do it. They should fix the streets."

His mother, Trinell Scott, expressed similar sentiments. "What are they doing with the money people are paying with taxes?" she asked the Times. "You could lose control of your car if you hit a pothole and then you could hit a pole."

According to Muskegon Heights Mayor Kimberley Sims, potholes are a major issue in the area. Sims told the Detroit Free Press she feels somewhat bad "the problem is so bad that [Scott] feels he has to do that."

This is not the first time private citizens have taken it upon themselves to fix the roads. In 2017, masked anarchists took to the streets of Portland to patch up potholes. Amazingly, a transportation bureau spokesperson suggested they might be breaking the law.

And in 2018, Domino's answered the age old question: Who builds roads in a libertarian society? The pizza chain helped fix roads in numerous states around the country. It was the perfect solution, as Reason's Christian Britschgi noted at the time:

Roads exist to service people's transportation needs, whether that's getting to and from work, schlepping freight between cities, or, yes, delivering freshly cooked pizza. Aligning the funding of roads with the purposes they're used for would make infrastructure more responsive to the end user.

Michigan, meanwhile, has the worst roads in the United States, according to a study released in October. The state and local governments there have shown themselves to be utterly incapable of filling potholes on a timely basis. While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) may have campaigned on a promise to "fix the damn roads," it sure looks like a 12 year old is actually getting real results.

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  1. “What are they doing with the money people are paying with taxes?”

    Hey kid, let the grown-ups worry about that. If you know what’s good f’yous.

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    2. Considering that Michigan has higher gas taxes than most states, that’s a good question. Much of the tax has been diverted from road work to other things, such as mass transit where the population density is too low for mass transit to be economically feasible.

  2. Dirt would be a short lived patch.

    1. My first thought as well. Somebody buy this kid some asphalt.

    2. It’ll wash/drive away on the top layer, but if these things are as deep as they look in the pictures, the dirt will still do a ton to prevent folks cars from getting fucked up.

    3. Yeah, but “short-lived” is still better than “none at all”.

    4. Dirt’s all he has access to. Gravel (the kind used in mixing cement) would be the best thing, but he doesn’t have a supply of that. The real point of the story is that this kid is out getting things done. Great job, young man.

      1. Nah, roadbase would be best.

        1. actually Democrat hot air is the best…there’s a never ending supply and it sucks up all the O2.

    5. You need to fill the hole with dirt before you pave, anyway.

  3. It’s going to be really sad when the police kill that kid for resisting. Seems like a good kid.

    1. Amen. Preemptively rest in peace, good citizen.

    2. I was thinking the kid would be sued by municipal workers claiming he was working without a permit.

    3. Naw, they gonna fine him first!!!

    4. The police don’t go into Muskegon Heights any more often than the road crews.

  4. Now if we could only find another 12 year old to remove spam from this site.

    1. Given an army of these 12 year olds, I could take over the world. However, as an old man, I’m too lazy to do anything with it (the World) and their effort would thus be wasted. LOL

  5. You know who else took it upon himself to fill some holes?

    1. Paul Krugman?

    2. You being funny? Bill Clinton & Donald Trump?

    3. Pol Pot?

    4. Stephen Hawking (Black Holes)?

  6. Isn’t that a union job?? Fucking scab!!

    1. When the union finally gets around to those potholes, they’ll have to clear the dirt out first. That’s take 4 or 5 union workers at least a day. Give the kid a pass.

      1. don’t forget the “supervision” and the “detail”…

  7. Bring back militia duty (and yeah in exchange for a tax credit) – and we could do a ton of this sort of stuff and eliminate lots of govt spending.

    1. Fuck it, let’s go full Starship Troopers. You only get to vote if you volunteer to fight space aliens or fill pot holes.

      1. Sure. And while some dandy is prancing around in a uniform at an airfield in Germany, banging fray lines at the beer hall, the real men will be down in the shit, filling potholes in Ann Arbor, surrounded by angry lesbians.

        1. Whaaattt? Help me with this vision??? It’s creative; I’ll give you that.

      2. There’s something to be said for allowing choice in how to fulfill a civic obligation. Payment in kind (labor or commodities that govt spends on) or cash (taxes).

        1. There was a movie.
          Cool Hand Luke.
          There was some road construction in that movie, as I recall.

          1. Calling it a job don’t make it right, boss.

            1. Not today Dragline…

      3. do Dems qualify as space aliens?

        1. They really dont have independent thought, so the hive mind prevails.

  8. If he runs for office (and he’s probably too fundamentally good of a person to), he has my vote.

    1. And if he starts a gofundme he’ll get my money.

      1. Once that happens, SWAT will raid his house. Politician’s don’t like their false promises to get undermined.

  9. Why couldn’t a woman of color and indeterminate sex fill the pothole? Hound the boy and his family for white and or male privilege. But before that check to see if they voted for Donald Trump.

    1. The kid’s not white. And at his age, he could only vote Democrat in Chicago.

  10. It’s easy for a kid with a garbage can full of dirt to fill in potholes – he didn’t have to get planning approval, do traffic studies, hold a series of meetings to discuss the project, have 3 different agency heads to sign off on the project and the funding for the project, etc, , something that would take government a year or more and cost $30-40,000 just to get started. But how many of the neighbors who are applauding this kid’s initiative are actually out there helping the kid and how many of them are just sitting back and saying, “screw that, I pay taxes, it’s the government’s job, make them do it” even though the government is manifestly not getting the job done? And how many of these people take the same attitude about every problem – “it’s the government’s job” – without realizing that the main problem is their own failure to do their job of holding the government accountable for its failures and start demanding the government do a few limited things and do them competently? You know why the government’s not getting the potholes filled? Because the government spent the pothole money on hiring a diversity director to make sure the arts council hired some trans-gendered dance troupe to perform at the opening of the new city kinetic art park. Fill the fucking potholes first before you start worrying about all that other bullshit.

    1. +1 beat-up shovel.

    2. Trans-gendered dance troupe at the city kinetic art park. Whoa … when does that happen? Will I break an axle getting there?

      1. damn right you will…

    3. “You know why the government’s not getting the potholes filled? Because the government spent the pothole money on hiring a diversity director to make sure the arts council hired some trans-gendered dance troupe to perform at the opening of the new city kinetic art park. Fill the fucking potholes first before you start worrying about all that other bullshit.”

      God damn, murder with words.

      1. TRUTH with words. I live in Seattle. Our roads are FUCKED. I see them spending TONS of money on insane and useless shit like this. It makes my blood boil. Thank god I will finally be moving before too much longer.

  11. Good on this kid. Solving a real problem instead of worrying about plastic straws killing Gaia.

    1. A few more years in school and that’ll be fixed.

    2. Hey, let’s use discarded plastic straws to fill pot holes.

    3. Plastic straws! Did you really have to go there? I am pleased that you can interject some appropriate nonsense into the coversation. Plastic straws? I’m hoarding enough to last the rest of my life.

      1. You know if you wove them to gether and used asphalt they might not be too bad they tend to be biodegradable.

      2. Plastic straws are the new Hitler in Godwin’s Law.

  12. Now I suppose the public works department will permanently fill those potholes as part of “routinely scheduled maintenance we were totally going to do anyway.”

    1. …at some undefined time on an unspecified date, somewhere in the future…like next never + 1 day

  13. OT:

    “Venezuela’s Maduro Announces Major Energy Rationing Amid New Power Outages”
    […]
    “Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that the government will reduce the length of the country’s workday and keep schools closed as it attempts to ration electricity in the face of continued power cuts.
    Maduro said in a nationally televised address on March 31 that the 30-day plan will help deal with the power outages that have disrupted water supplies and communications for long stretches of time.
    The embattled socialist president also warned against any unrest during the crisis, amid calls by opposition leader Juan Guaido for demonstrations against the government’s inability to provide basic services.
    Guaido blamed the blackout on years of government mismanagement and infrastructure neglect.
    Maduro has claimed, without evidence, that sabotage by the United States and political opponents has caused the power shortages….”
    http://www.rferl.org/a/venezue…..53874.html

    Damn Yanks are stealing Venezuelan electrons!

    1. Soon the whole country will have such a large positive charge that everyone’s hair will stand up.

    2. I have the switch right here in my living room. I turn off their power regularly and then laugh hysterically for hours at a time.

      1. So it’s YOU!!!

    3. Newsflash for Madurai: you lost the election! Move the treasury money to your Swiss bank account and go quietly like a good little dictator before you end up hanging upside down from a lamppost. Even a dimwit like you should know when his time is up.

  14. Kid: “I didn’t want people messing up their cars like my mom did.”
    Government: “People are fixing potholes on their own? We can cut the road repair budget and hand out some raises.”

    1. And not only can they cut the budget, they can raise taxes also.

  15. The only reason they’re not arresting the hero of the story is that he is 12 and it’s feel good viral story. If I or you or any adult went around filling potholes in our communities you know they would be at our doors reading us the riot act and arresting us for vandalism and malicious mischief. And fining us. Cities and counties love throwing their weight around, even when it is detrimental to the community.

    1. Yeah, it’s Canada, but still…

      City takes down $500 DIY park staircase, will replace it for $10,000

      One step back for two steps forward ? the homemade staircase built by a 73-year-old Etobicoke resident in Tom Riley Park has been taken down, but he says he’s been told it will be replaced by an official, city-made staircase for $10,000.

      http://www.thestar.com/news/gt…..l-one.html

      1. In fairness, when you compare the stairs Astl built with the stairs the city built, there is NO comparison.

        The city’s stairs appear to have a constant rise/run for every step, which is safer, while Astl’s have varying rise/runs on the first three “steps” (at least).

        The city’s stairs have metal stair rails on both sides vs. a wooden ones on only one side. The city’s solution is much safer and will last much longer in Toronto’s climate.

        The city’s stairs are concrete rather than an assortment of gravel and wood. The city’s solution will last much longer, require much less maintenance, and will be safer – esp. as it ages.

        The city also appears to have paved/be paving the area at the bottom of the stairs with asphalt which is an improvement Astl didn’t attempt.

        So comparing the cost is ridiculous — I’m actually surprised the city solution only cost $10,000.

        The serious question is how did a $65,000 to $150,000 estimate by the city end up with a nice and viable solution that only cost $10,000? Did the city cut back on “public art” at the top and bottom of the the stairs that would celebrate racial, economic, and gender diversity and just decide, after shaming, to build “A Staircase”?

        Kudos to Astl for shaming the city into sensibility though.

        1. that’s a Stairway to Heaven you heathen…

        2. But Astl’s stairway was better than the dirt path that was there.

        3. Yeah, the stairs installed now are nicer. But they’d be nicer still if they were inset with gold. Perhaps they could have excavated the area and installed an elevator. Perhaps they could have hired some guys to stand out there and wait for a person who would then be individually carried down the slope.

          What value does this staircase generate? Is it worth $10,000 of investment, $100, or $1,000,000? Like it or not, they made it (way more than) 10 years with nothing at all. Seems like the system isn’t working that great.

    2. is there an actual Riot Act? and if so what is the actual wording?

  16. That’s a big ass pothole! Kid got paid too.

  17. I doubt they’re worse than the roads and potholes in Quebec. I’m constantly trying to avoid gigantic potholes. If your car gets damaged good luck collecting from the city for damages.

    This kid deserves a lot of credit for showing such initiative. But he best be watch his back and not get all excited filling up more holes or else he’s liable to get ticketed or upset civil servants.

    1. From what I’ve seen driving in Michigan (admiralty only twice in my life) they were pretty bad but come to Montreal.

      1. You had the Admiralty drive you around in Michigan. How’d you rate?

        1. Rate the state? The roads were pretty bad and driving past the GM building was depressing. The sign and the salmon coloured hue of the building stank of communist Russia. /Lionel Hutz shudder.

          I only drove through it to get to Chicago – stopped a couple of times to eat where I saw all kinds of bull shit threatening signs from police about stupidities. Before then 1994 to watch a World Cup match at the old Pontiac Silverdome in Dee-troit. But it’s a state I’d like to explore more. Some friends have hit the beaches in the region and enjoyed it.

      2. I was just in Montreal 2 weeks ago. Beautiful buildings, shit roads. Definitely a contender for worst roads of 2019.

        1. Montreal’s art deco buildings are on par (though on a smaller scale) with NYC and Chicago.

          2019? Try like always. Yet, the second you hit Vermont all smooth.

          1. Not only Vermont but also New York State, Ontario and New Brunswick, It’s like if your old jalopy feels suddenly like a all-new car.

  18. Good for him.

  19. So sweet. Everyone can change the world

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    1. Well, you should be out fixing some roads then. Sounds like you have a lot of free time.

  21. I immediately thought of the repercussions. Violating some child labor laws. Non union worker. Are the parents in trouble for not watching whet their son was doing? Am I that cynical?

    A good young man caring for his community. Nice story

    1. I was expecting the Gotcha! Part of the story to be him getting in trouble…

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  23. He should set up a donation box for materials.

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  25. “What are they doing with the money people are paying with taxes?”

    Paying former Michigan public employees, of course. You know, the ones that don’t even work for the government anymore and are living in Florida somewhere.

  26. In Guatemala private citizens work on the roads “improving” them then they try to shake down the drivers who pass by, most of which do not stop.

    Perhaps there should be a person holding a hat here in the states and everyone who passes by antes up. How to get compliance though????

  27. Seattle has a free smartphone app called “Find It, Fix It.” When inside it, one photographs a pothole or overgrown vegetation or graffiti, selects one of eight problem-categories, maybe adds a note, and presses Send. The smartphone’s GPS data accompanies the message, allowing the recipient city department to pinpoint the location of the problem. I hope other jurisdictions can acquire and customize this app for their locales.

    1. LOLOLOLOL

      Are you kidding? They don’t ACTUALLY fix anything sent in via that app. The roads here are FUCKED. Yet they have plenty of money for useless pet projects, like spending $13 MILLION a mile to add bike lanes to a few blocks down town.

    2. You forgot the rest. We have a similar app in Tampa, so I’ll fill you in.

      After you press send, that report gets submitted to an unmonitored black hole email address and is automatically deleted that night when the server scrubs the data. The next morning, city workers sit and drink their coffee while trying to plan their day, which takes a bit because it includes a lot of down time that they must fill with other activities. Such activities might include figuring out how to turn quick one way roads into two way roads with lower speeds and a “pedestrian corridor.” Which makes perfect sense in cities where it’s hot as balls outside 90% of the time.

      1. Wouldn’t be surprised if they were immediately deleted.

        I don’t get why it is so fucking hard for people to just manage basic infrastructure. Even within the fucked system we have, all it takes is a little common sense in directing leviathan. I mean they HAVE got TONS of shit done in Seattle in recent years… It was just all THE WRONG SHIT that nobody cares about.

        I really will have to run for politics someday… I think I need to wait for it to get a little more extreme though, so I don’t shock all the soccer moms out there too bad. Maybe after Trump term II I can run for mayor or something 🙂

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