Any fool could have seen that the land assessment of $7,500 on the open market was ludicrous. And private streets aren't entitled to free water main maintenance. Rather than trumpet my cluenessness and petulance, when I make mistakes like this I learn from them and resolve to be more wary next time. And at least I have the excuse of never having attended law school! Byko: Young couple slammed by 1,245 percent city tax hike I've got a lesson for Mr. Silver. Private means privately owned. Which means not publicly owned. Which means not entitled to public maintenance. You should be grateful the water department fixed it for you rather than turning off the water and telling you to call a plumber.