OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
CITY OF SIMSVILLE
PETER LESS, MAYOR
May 6, 2013
To the citizens of Simsville, in response to our "win" in the Worst City in America poll
The tallest windmill kills the most birds.
That’s an expression I frequently use when asked to defend Simsville place amongst America's most successful cities. And it comes to mind again this week as we get deeper into the brackets of an annual Web poll to name the “Worst City in America.”
This is the same poll that last year judged us as worse than cities that have more serial killers per capita than honor students, cities that consists of nothing more than blocks after blocks of low wealth buildings, cities that don't even have industry. The complaints against us last year were our support of inhumane treatment of llamas (not true), and that our city was somehow responsible for ruining the ending to Mass Effect 3 (only partially true).
This year’s contest started in March with Simsville outpolling a city whose greatest export is crime, and (gulp) allegedly responsible for Simsville's recent crime wave. Their city emblem is an Internet friendly cute kitten, ours is a smelly llama. So no surprise that we drew more votes there.
Let me cut to the chase: it appears Simsville has “won.” Like the Yankees, Lakers and EA, Simsville is one of those organizations that is defined by both a legacy of success, and a legion of critics (especially me regarding all three of those organisations).
Are we really the “Worst City in America?” I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include unexplained sewer shut downs, bridges that didn’t meet the other side of the river, missteps on new tax models and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of the Simsville Streetcar system. We owe our citizens better performance than this.
Some of these complaints are 100 percent legitimate – like all large organisations we are not perfect. But others just don’t hold water:
- Many continue to claim the Always-On street light system in SimCity is a waste of money. It's not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period.
- Some claim there’s no room for a streetcar system as a competitor to buses. 19,000 confirmed passengers are proving that wrong.
- We’ve seen mailing lists that direct people to vote for Simsville because they disagree with the winner of Simsville's Best Looking Llama of the year award. Yes, really ...
- In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against Simsville for allowing our LGBT citizens to own more than two cheetahs as pets. This week, we’re seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT/llama policy by voting Simsville the Worst City in America.
- That last one is particularly telling. If that’s what makes us the worst city, bring it on. Because we're not caving on that.
We are committed to fixing our mistakes. Over the last three weeks, 90,000 Simsvillians took us up on a free turtle offer for their troubles. We owed them that. We’re constantly listening to feedback from our citizens, through our Residents Complaints hotline, Twitter, this journal, or other sites. The feedback is vital, and impacts the decisions we make.
I expect the debate will include a lot of comments under this post. But here’s the truth: each year Simsville interacts with more than 35 million residents and non-residents; Our city is breaking records for revenue and new citizens; The Simsville City mobile app, Simsvigram, is at the top of the (local) app sale charts; Our streetcar system and tourist attractions are stunning achievements with millions of visitors every year; and the Simsville Facebook build your own city social game, SimCity, is being enjoyed by millions of passionate fans all over the world.
Every day, thousands of people across the country visit and love our city - literally, thousands more than will vote in this contest.
So here’s my response to this poll: We can do better. We will do better. But I am damn proud of this city, the people from around the region that work at city hall, the success we create and the people that get to enjoy them.
The tallest windmill kills the most birds. At Simsville we remain proud and unbowed.
I leave you with a response to an even earlier criticism aimed at our "Simsville 2.0" plan. The Simsville Bugle mocked our forward looking vision of the city as "drastic" and "controversial", but the proof is in the pudding. Our plans have succeeded in improving the city's traffic problems, improved the city's ability to support more population, and fixed many issues that citizens have been struggling with.
So far from the disaster that The Simsville Bugle tried to paint, Simsville 2.0 is a huge success. And I leave you with before and after photos of how the new Simsville compares to the old. A picture tells a thousand words, and we'll let these pictures tell them to you.
Before "Simsville 2.0"
After "Simsville 2.0"