In government, doing things the way they’ve always been done isn’t always the best way. The city of La Crosse is figuring that out as it works to improve leaf collection efforts in the city. The mayor is looking to add manpower to this year’s leaf collection crew, in hopes of getting leaves collected before they become covered in snow. But the city is still struggling to figure out how to address its pothole problem. Street crews occasionally go out to throw down some hot tar, but that rarely lasts long, with cars kicking up the tar, or rain washing it away. Right now the pothole problem is pronounced, and trying to navigate our streets has turned into a contest. There has to be a better way, right? As it turns out, there is. And it’s in Omaha. Like La Crosse, that city has a pothole problem worsened by our harsh winter. They have made filling those potholes a priority. They set up a website soliciting complaints on the worst potholes, then set out to fill them. Omaha filled more than 5000 potholes. In just 10 days. They used 22 city workers and 10 contractor crews to fill all those holes. They started with the most traveled roads, and those with the worst potholes. La Crosse could do this too, but hasn’t yet made it a priority. Perhaps La Crosse should look to Omaha to a solution. If a city like Omaha can fill more than 5000 potholes in 10 days, La Crosse could likely fill its potholes in even less time. But first it would have to stop doing things like it has always done them.