Thursday, June 13, 2013

This stinks

And its not just the uncollected trash.

We have all read, heard about and/orexperienced delays in trash collection due to the chronic shortages of workersin the public words department.

It is a situation that has been frustrating for residents and the city administration alike.
West Ward Councilman Zac Chester suggested on Monday that the city utilize the Blackboard Connect robo-call system to notify residents if and when trash collection was going to be late.

It seems like a common sense request to use a system the city pays $50,000 or more a year to use.  -----

Original Message-----
From: Zachary A. Chester []
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2013 9:55 PM
To: John Seigle
Cc: Zachary Chester
Subject: Trash pick up

Hi John,
Mr. Hutchinson asked that I email him this request.
I would like the city to use the call system to inform residents about the delay in trash pick up when we are unable to pick up due to low staffing. I asked the director and Mr. Harris to do this so the residents know what is going on.

Thank you,

It went from Mr. Hutchinson’s office (via John Seigle…Mr. Hutchinson seems adverse to answering or sending his own emails) to public works director Mollinedo, with copies to mayoral aide Anthony Roberts and Trenton Water Works stock clerk Paul Harris.

(You can read the complete email chain here, starting at the bottom of the document.)

The response that came back from Anthony Roberts was this:
-----Original Message-----

From: Anthony Roberts
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 1:39 PM
To: John Seigle
Subject: RE: Trash pick up
John: The Mayor said No! to this request!

Anthony C. Roberts, Aide to the Mayor
City of Trenton
Department of Administration
319 E. State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
609-989-3807 - 609-989-4250 FAX
  Note the emphasis indicated by the application of the exclamation mark following the mayor’s one word response.

Now we are the first to admit we feel the Blackboard Connect system has been abused and overused. Certainly, no one wants to be bothered by phone calls touting the opening or re-opening of the failed “Learning Centers”.  We don’t want to be further annoyed by calls touting the waste of tax dollars known as the “Heritage Days Festival.”

This, however, seems like a fairly reasonable use of the system.  A simple phone call informing folks that trash collections will be delayed. A message with instructions on when the trash will be picked up, whether or not to leave it on the curb and for how long seems like something worth communicating to the residents.
Not according to the terse response given to Councilman Chester’s request.

It does make one wonder. Surely the mayor, Mr. Roberts or Mr. Harris are not the only city employees who know how to access and activate the phone system. Per the MOU with the state upon which our transitional aid funding is given, Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Mollinedo and other directors can not be summarily dismissed by the Mayor. Not without the approvals of DCA and the governing body.

Maybe it is time for one of these parties to stand up to the petty tyrant and do what is right for the city.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is unreal. A council member submits a completely rational request and the response he gets is a no! This is pathetic that folks have to live in filth and trash.