Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The DPW "to do" list should be made public

I've been on the Council for seven years now. One thing I have yet to fully understand is why I make requests of the DPW -- and get agreement to perform the work -- then months later some work is not yet done, while some work is done the following day. And I'm not talking about a major project vs. fixing a pothole.

I'm saying that the responses from the DPW seem haphazard. It's almost as if the DPW doesn't maintain an ongoing "to do" list... not a list for every request that is made, but just a list for every request that is made for which the DPW has agreed to act.

But I must be wrong, right? The DPW must keep an ongoing to do list of all work that is to be performed, right?

Assuming I'm wrong and such a list exists, I've asked the TM to make public the list.

I asked him at last week's Council meeting:Since such a list must exist, I figured I would've gotten a copy of it by now. But I haven't.


For the time being, I figured a scratchpad would suffice. But going forward, this may be something that should be institutionalized. Perhaps we even set up some sort of website database that allows residents to report problems, including:

1) street address;

2) phone number / email / best contact;

3) description of problem and maybe even an option for photo attachments to expedite the process.

Then residents could track the followup, such as:

1) whether the DPW takes ownership of the issue; and if so

2) an estimated completion date, etc.

This would probably lead to better customer service. And it would certainly lead to greater comfort that issues are getting a closure. And with the DPWs closure... if a resident did not get a satisfactory response, then s/he could begin to escalate the issue to the TM and eventually to the Council. Barring a satisfactory response by the Council, the resident has the voting booth.

But without a clear response / action from the DPW, it leaves people wondering what's happening. That's not good government. And it's not acceptable.

Tim White

P.S. -- This request is different from my years old request for the DPW to provide the Council with the criteria they use in prioritizing the use of funds in constructing / maintaining sidewalks, roads, curbs, etc... as well as the list of projects after the funds have been prioritized.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2 years ago I called the DPW and told them that one of their plows ripped up part of my driveway and lawn. They told me that they would have someone come out and take a look at it within a few weeks. They never came.
Called a second time 3 weeks later and was told the smae thing.
They never came.
Called a 3rd time and left a message for Mr. Michaelangelo. He never called.
I finally got tired of looking at and was concerned that it was doing more damage to my car then it was worth, so I paid to have it fixed.
They need to be a lot more efficient then they are.