Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Get What You Ask For

If you have lived in DC for any appreciable amount of time, you have probably heard or made derogatory comments about DC city services. In fact, Jerome Sikorski, the recently elected ANC 2F-05 commissioner, included improved delivery of city services to ANC 2F in his platform. So why don't we all ask city agencies and the office of the Mayor's directly for the services we want? No, seriously. If you've never made use of the Citywide Call Center, you really should use it. I will put my reputation at stake and promise you that making service request really does lead to action and is not a frustrating process — as well all know it used to be.

Use the online Service Request Center here or the Citywide Call Center by phoning 311 to ask for what you need. The DC government must respond within a reasonable time period, and city employees are being held accountable. The list of city services that you can request includes:

  • Filling potholes
  • Street and sidewalk repair
  • Sanitation issues such as removal of dead animals, street sweeping, and missing garbage bins
  • Parking enforcement
  • Graffiti removal
A full list of services is available once you log in to the Online Service Request Center.

Starting with Mayor Fenty's administration, requests have not been going into the ether. Every request receives a tracking number and is assigned planned dates for inspection and subsequent resolution. You can track both phone and online service requests yourself by setting up a log-in at the above link. If the response isn't satisfactory, resubmit it easily including the prior request # (easy to find if you use a Service Request Center account) in your new submission.

Improving customer service operations is a stated goal of the new mayoral administration. Mayor Fenty's office is tracking customer satisfaction through surveys sent after service requests are closed. Survey results are included in the CapStat presentations to the Mayor during his weekly performance evaluations of city agencies. Review some of the CapStat reports yourself here. Service requests are also now released to the public by RSS, providing a level of transparency and accountability.

If you feel like DC agencies have failed to meet your needs, contact the Mayor's Office directly through this online form. You can also contact Mark Bjorge or Joesph Martin, Neighborhood Services Coordinators for Ward 2, at mark.bjorge@dc.gov or joseph.martin@dc.gov respectively.
Another option: speak to Mark personally at the ANC meetings. (However, it's best to use 311 or the online Service Request Center to resolve your issue before you contact Mark or Joe directly.)

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