Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Can Whales Vomit?

Gotta love Manteca City Hall's technological progressiveness. Quoting the Chief of Police, "While we have initiated an on-line reporting system through the Department's web page that allows victims of an incident to create their own report, during the past year we have received only 486 of our 10,803 reports via the on-line system." That means 95.5% of reports are taken are on-scene, or on the telephone, or when someone sends a letter or shows up at City Hall in person.

Yeah, these are the same tech folks who have TWO systems - the internal one where drafts of proposed ordinances for City Council consideration are found, and the external web-based site which just has city propoganda and the above-mentioned "reporting solution" - and the two systems do not talk to each other.

Anyway, my recent attempts to file reports in the 4.5% group (on-line) resulted in brush-offs marked by brevity of words and devoid of actions. Here is code enforcement's anonymous response to the last request:

-----Original Message-----From: Manteca Help Line [] Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 8:13 AMTo: Richard BehlingSubject: Manteca-CRM: Closed Request # 198750 [3437656466356137]

Dear Richard,

Your request # 198750 has been resolved with the resolution:

This is a duplicate request and the issue has been looked into.

Realizing that ALL of my requests directed to code enforcement will be deep-sixed, I returned to each of the three case closures and completed the satisfaction surveys, on the hope that someone else in system followup reads them.

Satisfaction Survey - Request #: 197457 [Abandoned structures/walk-in freezers]

I expect a code enforcement officer to actually know and apply Manteca's Municipal Code. To say, "I have been told by planning...", simply does not make the cut.

I believe a non-compliant situation still exists. The intent for which these codes are adopted is nullified when complaints are handled so sloppily.

Other than that, Why does the complainant have to be fully identified, while the respondent city employee hides behind the anonymity of a computerized system and does not sign the response?

Satisfaction Survey - Request #: 197462 [Abandoned vehicles]

The response does not appear to reference the relevant code sections and a non-compliant situation still exists.

Satisfaction Survey - Request #: 198750 [Abandoned vehicles]

This closed request was an expansion of an earlier request closed too hastily without appropriate action. The statement that "...the issue has been looked into" is a euphemism for "I made it LOOK like I did something." The non-compliant situation still exists.

It totally escapes me what codes these do-nothings are so busy enforcing (or willing to enforce) that they give a pass to the illegal business still operated by TLC Catering, along with its accumulation of castoff and abandoned equipment and vehicles.

And the city wonders why only 4.5% of complaints/reports/and such come through their wonderful new system. Have they considered the "human element" of their system? Maybe the whales are still grazing the greenbacks (you know, "lettuce", "vigorish", etc.)

May they swallow more than they can stomach.

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