Thursday, August 18, 2011

Is the new boss, the same as the old boss?

As readers know, on June 22, 2011, I wrote to Mayor Rotering and every City Councilman concerning repeated requests to reimburse approximately 45 residents for payments made for unnecessary repairs to their private property.  These residents paid the City under coercion, for a Sewer Program that is likely to be entirely revamped and/or discarded and which was very inequitably applied to these unlucky residents to their great financial distress.

While I would prefer to see more comments posted on this blog, and the ones posted, even this week, can be a bit difficult to find based on the Google template, you may be interested to know that more than several people have written and/or called the Mayor's office in the last several weeks to request reimbursement and to express their frustration at how they have been treated by the City.  I am starting to receive phone calls from these people who leave messages at my home complaining that no one at the City responds to them.  Not our new mayor, and none of our new and current councilmen.

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that nearly two months later I also haven't had a reply yet from anyone (unless an e-mail or letter has gone missing). Nor a phone call.  This should be very disappointing to all, not just me.  Resident raises serious and complicated issue to City Hall and nearly two full months pass with no response, no inquiry to learn more.   

Kinda looks like the old City Council.  In the words of Pete Townsend, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”?  Hope not.  Wasn’t this last HP election about CHANGE?!

In fairness to Mayor Belsky, he always replied, eventually -- probably the amount of time it took Dave Limardi to consider it worthy of his time and to put it on his desk for reply (or to assign it to someone, followed by his and corporation counsel’s review). Then you'd get the "big official letter."  There was never any dialogue.  To actually pick up the phone and talk with a resident about a challenging and complicated issue -- well, that would be, let's just say, too personal for that administration.  And, evidently, it is the same for this one.  

Actually, I wasn’t hoping for a big official letter response.  With so many new people on City Council, I was hoping for a call – something along the lines of “I'm a new councilman and don’t know much about this issue but would like to get your perspective.”  I must have been dreaming…

So, today, I wrote everyone on City Council and requested a meeting with each, excluding Steve Mandel because it appears his mind is absolutely shut on this issue and no one likes to waste her time.  If the invitees agree to these meetings, it will be very time consuming for me, but when it comes to trying to right a wrong, sometimes one just has to make the time. LET'S NOT FORGET THAT VERY REAL PEOPLE WERE HARMED BY THE CITY ACTIONS.  Perhaps these meetings can be bundled, with more than one City Councilman at a time.  (I believe up to three members of City Council can be in the same room at the same time without triggering an official meeting, but they know these responsibilities better than I.)

My first response was extremely prompt and from Councilman JamesKirsch, whom I just now learned goes by “Jimmy.”  I really appreciated him responding so quickly to the direct request and we’re already scheduled to have a phone conference later this week.   Thank you, Jimmy!

We’ll see about the rest – I look forward to reporting on this endeavor further.  In spite of all, I remain hopeful that the current City Council might actually look at this issue anew. 

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