We Support This Type Of “Vigilantism.”

They call themselves the “Vigilante Pothole Brigade” and they are doing what the State of California is unwilling or unable to do – fix potholes in their community.

(image courtesy of

Heavy rains caused potholes in Santa Cruz County, CA – potholes which the local government doesn’t have the funds to fix. The local government officials told the residents to “be patient” and have said the repairs could take more than a year to finish.

Residents got tired of the delay and the lack of solid answers so they decided to fix the potholes themselves.

The brigade is comprised of moms and dads, firefighters, entrepreneurs and fearless do-it-yourselfers fed up with tire-popping potholes – and a county public works agency telling them to just be patient.

On a typical morning, they gather for a quick safety chat, don reflective vests and hard hats, and hit the road to shovel donated cold patch.

“People were giving us lists of where the holes were,” says volunteer Launy Senee, “and we would drive around and find them, and we just started getting people together and self-training ourselves, and filling the potholes.”

Using their own pickup trucks, they back over the repair job several times, smoothing the patch with their tires. Each job takes about five minutes.

Of course, the citizen led solution doesn’t sit well with government officials.

“We can’t have people running out into traffic and filling up potholes by themselves,” said Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin. “It just could end up impeding our efforts to actually fill more potholes if we end up getting sued because we’re letting people do this.”

It certainly doesn’t seem like people are “running out into traffic” but instead are taking lots of safety precautions – the same precautions that the government employees would take. Heck, if the repairs are taking an average of 5 minutes, we suspect that is a lot faster than the workers paid by the government.

To be clear, this is not totally an altruistic gathering of citizens.

“If you added up the amount of money that people have lost in tires in this winter alone, it would be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars,” [brigade leader Larry] McVoy said.

In a way, the people are looking out for their money and we have no issues with that. Even better, while they are looking out for their pocketbooks and wallets, they are helping others keep more money to spend in their pockets as well. It’s a win – win solution for all of the citizens in the area.

Of course, there were other “solutions” available to the residents:

PLACERVILLE, Calif. – Someone in Placerville is using spray paint, and some phallic symbols, to draw attention to some potholes on Wood Ridge Court.

Neighbors in the area say the potholes along the street have gone unrepaired for a long time, but the graffiti just recently appeared.

“The potholes has been here for a long time, but the penis, that was just put there last night,” neighbor Virginia Gabac said.

One spot had the phrase “what are taxes for.”


City of Placerville work crews were in the neighborhood Tuesday to remove the graffiti. The potholes were still there.

The city manager’s office would not comment on the potholes or graffiti.

While we think the highlighting of potholes with a phallic symbol is humorous, it doesn’t really solve the problem like Vigilante Pothole Brigade does.

Kudos to the people in the brigade for taking the initiative and repair the potholes rather than just sitting back and complaining.

Well dome.

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