Define cooperate

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Here’s an interesting excerpt from Mayor White’s State of the City speech:

And I told you last year at my first State of the City Address that we had to get the stalled and wrecked vehicles off of our freeways faster, to relieve congestion and improve safety. And at that time I said that it would be a fight. Boy, was that right! Now our SafeClear Program is unclogging our freeways and making them safer. Drivers already have begun noticing a difference. And we are able to provide additional services at affordable prices, in cooperation with the MAP Program and with more efficient and accountable towing industry. Sure, it’s been a fight to bring some order out of chaos, and we will improve the program based on performance, but Houston’s future is worth that fight. You know we just can’t build ourselves out of gridlock, so we must manage traffic better.

You have to admit he’s a fine city cheerleader, but the part that caught my eye was where he says the city is working “in cooperation with the MAP program.” I wonder how the mayor defines cooperate? A recent Chronicle story might have a partial answer:

Walter Wainwright, president of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association and one of the organizers of MAP, said Houston police showed no interest when invited to join in the fledgling effort in 1986.

Since then, he said, the city has cooperated with the program but has not helped to staff it or pay for its expansion.

Maybe “cooperation” means the city isn’t using $AFEclear wreckers to run MAP trucks off the road.

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.