The collapse of East 26th Street amid this week's downpour and the years of concern that residents relayed to various city officials, as reported by reporters Kevin Rector, Yvonne Wenger and Joe Burris, confirms the ongoing widespread belief that Baltimore City officials have a long history of persistent unresponsiveness to citizen concerns ("Displaced residents blame city, railroad for inaction," May 2).

The list of embarrassments goes on and on from collapsing streets to skirting departmental audits and the erroneous speed cameras, just to name a few. Regardless of who ultimately bears legal responsibility for this incident, be it the city, CSX or both, it is important that all Baltimoreans remember this incident as a representation of how the vast majority of city officials treat citizen concerns the next time they find themselves in a voting booth.

The arrogance, incompetence and disrespect the city has displayed should make the word "incumbent" a death knell to one's Baltimore City political career come election day. Even as a card-carrying Democrat, I can find no reason why a single elected official in this town deserves another term in office.

Patrick Dieter, Remington

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