The Caddo Herald
January 30, 1914
A Better Way to Build Good Roads
Our road system has its grave faults which can easily be corrected if we but take a business view of it. Under the present law each man is requested to do a few day’s work on the public road each year on the order of the overseer who is resident of the district. In practice this works so that the roads are worked only when the roads become impassable. The road overseer knows each man personally and knows that at the time the roads should be worked the man is needed in his field, and he is therefore loath to force him to work on the road. Another thing: This system brings into action almost altogether the work of inexperienced men, men who know nothing of levels or of grades and the work done is usually of an inferior quality, not improving commensurately the condition of the roads.
A better way would be to levy a certain amount of road tax each year and let the grading of the dirt roads out by contract to men who know how, to men who have tools, and who can induce help whenever they need it. More and better work for the money will then be secured. The contractor might be allowed to use the county convicts and be forced before he gets his pay to have the roads built to certain specifications made either by the county engineer or the state Highway department. Then on the state highway the state convicts might be used.
Until we learn to conduct our city, county, and state affairs in a businesslike and efficient manner, there always will be complaints of high taxes with little to show for it. While The Herald is not in sympathy with the general cry of thieves in office, believing that our public officers as a whole are as honest and efficient as any other set of men, yet there are abuses which should be corrected and wastes which should be stopped.