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  • It's only a trash can...

    I wish I could make this up, but watching government ping-pong is only too amusing to do anything about it.

    Link:http://www.masslive.com/talk/index.s..._anyway_s.html


    Hee hee hee, of course, being the sort of person that finds it hard not to press buttons, like to imagine what would happen if the Dept. of Health and Human services gotten involved, as well as the EPA, when asked, "Who should be issued the fine for such violations?"

  • #2
    Re: It's only a trash can...

    Yeah, I almost took the bait.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: It's only a trash can...

      Awe man, the link doesn't work anymore.

      Anyrate, the short story is this, volunteer community service workers (Not the chain-gang kind) through a city initiative, raise funds to install a trash can next to a well populated sidewalk right next to a bus stop. No one objects, and it is permitted. Well, the question was then asked "Who is going to empty it?" DPW is called, and they point the finger to the PVTA, a public transportation company. The PVTA fire back saying it is the DPW's job. DPW then referes to the city, and around and around we go for months on end.

      It amasing how well things work around here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: It's only a trash can...

        Are you telling me there really is a city called Springfield I thought Homer Simpson and family lived there.

        Tony

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: It's only a trash can...

          the story, http://www.masslive.com/talk/index.s..._anyway_s.html

          Earlier this year I wrote a post criticizing the City for its ho-hum attitude towards its poorer neighborhoods. I’ll say this once again for the record: Whether it’s the residents themselves or the local government’s attitude towards them, when you treat a neighborhood like a ghetto, it becomes a ghetto.

          Springfield has had a decades-long habit of paying lip service the conditions of its poorer neighborhoods while focusing its attention instead on the well-being of its more affluent communities. (That is, after all, where nearly all of the city’s leaders live - and, the theory goes, that’s where all the “real” taxpayers - what’s left of them - live, too.) Neighborhood activists in the poorer communities, meanwhile, had long-hoped that the introduction of ward representation would put an end to such favoritism.

          They should have known otherwise.

          Unfortunately for those neighborhood activists, there is no such thing as “ward representation” in the city’s departments - which is, after all, where the day-to-day implementation of city policy takes place. In the culture of the city’s departments, there appears to remain a very distinct difference between a neighborhood like Old Hill and, say, the good folks who live in Sixteen Acres.

          It’s a situation where even such a simple matter as emptying a trash receptacle can devolve into a three month ordeal.

          Case in point:

          For years, the bus stop by the Central Street-Florence Street triangle in the Maple High neighborhood has been littered with trash left by commuters waiting for the bus to arrive. The PVTA is responsible for placing trash cans at their stops, but at this particular stop a receptacle was apparently deemed unnecessary. The City, meanwhile, despite the constant trash problem, apparently couldn’t be bothered with putting a receptacle at the triangle because that would be just another trash can they’d have to empty each week.

          And it is, after all, only a ghetto. So what’s the big deal?

          Finally, members of the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council (MHSCNC) took it upon themselves to scrape up the funding for a trash receptacle to be placed there. Unfortunately, according to City regulations, they couldn’t just buy any old container. By Parks Dept. directive, they had to purchase a particular kind of trash receptacle – the wrought-iron variety that typically range in price from over $600 a-piece to nearly $1,000 per can. (The Council ended up buying a receptacle from the MCDI for $650. Last year, the non-profit Keep Springfield Beautiful purchased 20 cans for the city’s neighborhoods and was invoiced for $959 per can by the city’s approved vendor, M. E. O’Brien & Sons.) And, since the triangle is city property, the Parks Dept. would be the one actually placing the trash receptacle on the site.

          So, essentially, the Neighborhood Council was donating the trash receptacle to the city. And that, as they say, was that.

          Until it came time to actually empty the trash can, that is.

          Bad enough those meddlesome ghetto dwellers wanted a trash can in their ‘hood . They actually expected the city to empty it, too? (The city apparently has no such issues with the trash receptacles donated by Keep Springfield Beautiful for city-wide placement.)

          Even though the city had required a particular kind of receptacle (the expensive kind), and had further required that they be the ones to actually place it at the city-owned triangle, they apparently wanted nothing whatsoever to do with its actual upkeep (that is, emptying it).

          And so began a spectacle rarely seen in more affluent circles, as a simple email inquiry earlier this year devolved into a chain of back-and-forth emails wherein city officials tossed the responsibility around like a hot potato.


          Looking up Central Street.
          On April 29th of this year, city resident (and Springfield’s Assistant City Collector) Peter Sygnator emailed Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s Director of Constituent Services, James Leydon, asking him which agency or department was responsible for emptying trash cans at the city’s bus stops.
          Leydon apparently didn’t know who was responsible, but said he would contact the Parks Dept. to find out. He then got a hold of Parks Dept. Director Patrick Sullivan, who, according Leydon, told him that the Department of Public Works was responsible. This was on April 30th.

          The next email inquiry came on May 17th as Sygnator again asked Leydon about the trash can. The receptacle had actually been emptied on May 1st - by volunteers at Keep Springfield Beautiful, it turned out, as part of their annual citywide cleanup day - but had since gone to overflowing again.

          There was apparently no response to that email, so Sygnator tried again on June 2nd.
          “I hate to keep bothering you about this,” wrote Sygnator to Leydon, “Can’t this just be emptied on a weekly basis? The bus riders are being diligent about putting their trash IN the barrel. We should be diligent about EMPTYING the barrel… no?”

          Again, there was apparently no response from Leydon (or at least not an email response). The next email in the chain is dated June 14th. This one from MHSCNC member Linda Langevin, a neighborhood activist who also sits on the board at Keep Springfield Beautiful, and who spearheaded the drive to get the trash can installed at the bus stop.

          “Larry Ibekilo, a member of the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council, and I emptied the trash barrel at the Central St. bus shelter on Saturday, June 11,” Langevin wrote. “We each took a contractor's bag of trash home with us. The last time the trash barrel was emptied was May 1 by volunteers from Keep Springfield Beautiful. This is despite the numerous emails that Pete Sygnator has made on our behalf and despite the 311 online complaint that I made on June 8 (ticket number 189724).”

          Langevin signed off her email: “I am absolutely disgusted with the total disregard the City has for the Six Corners neighborhood.”

          Yawn.

          If Langevin was expecting some kind of concerned response from the city, she was sadly mistaken. After all, she lives in the ghetto. Remember?

          On June 14th, shortly before noon, the Springfield DPW’s Assistant Deputy of Operations, Michael Bousquet – apparently quite miffed at having garbage brought to his attention before his lunch time – fired off this deflective round next in the email chain: “[The] PVTA is responsible for these shelters [the bus stops]. Why are we getting this complaint?”

          Next up - this after weeks of non-responses, finger-pointing and shoo-aways - CitiStat Director Paul Foster intervenes with the below comments:

          [This is also June 14th - apparently after reading Mr. Bousquet’s email] “This is not appropriate customer service. We spend all our time pointing at someone else, when someone should proactively raise their hand and say ‘we'll take care of it.’ This email string dates back to April 29th and we still don't know who is responsible for emptying a single trash barrel? We look like idiots.

          […]

          “The ticket referenced by Linda was a ticket sent to the ordinance squad who (according to the notes) requested that the trash be picked up by DPW/Parks and then the ticket was closed. At this point we have three entities (Parks, PVTA, and DPW) each pointing at someone else. I would propose that a decision be made about who is responsible and then we create a ticket in the 311 system for emptying street trash barrels and any calls like this go into that queue and we track how long it takes to complete them. Thoughts?”

          Thoughts, Paul? Why yes, as it happens, our Director of Constituent Services, Jim Leydon, did have a few. What’s needed here, you see, is careful deliberation. This situation is a prickly one and needs to be thoughtfully evaluated. After all, there is so much more involved in emptying a trash barrel than just, you know, emptying it.

          “I think we should first establish what barrels […] on the street are the City’s responsibility,” wrote Leydon. “I believe that within the BID, DPW collects on a weekly basis. We can not just pick up barrels because they are on the street [emphasis mine]. If this barrel is PVTA responsibility then it should be the PVTA who is emptying these barrels.”

          Duh. Yes, folks, after over a month of wrangling, not only does the City have no idea who’s supposed to empty the offending barrel, but they’ve also apparently forgotten how it got there.

          Leydon went on: “Peter, please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe neighbors of this bus stop on Central Street put the barrel there. Is this the policy that we want? If anyone puts a barrel out we are now responsible?”

          Leydon goes on to bring up the city’s finances as a valid reason not to empty the trash can: “Paul in some respects I agree with you that this is not good customer service. [But] with talks in the city council still about further cuts, where is the line drawn when departments just have to say NO. Clean Cities is doing more then [sic] an admirable job with limited man power and scarce resources and DPW is as we know thin. Once we take responsibility we own it and residents expect the service.”

          That from the Director of Constituent Services.

          Finally, by mid-afternoon on the same day (June 14), Springfield DPW chief Al Chwalek comes into the email conversation: “If someone could please give me the exact location of the barrel on Central Street and Dickinson Street I will take care of it.”

          Chwalek also re-asserted that it was the PVTA’s responsibility to empty trash barrels located at bus stops.

          And so the saga of the orphaned trash receptacle continues. The DPW may have actually emptied the can this latest time around, but it remains to be seen what agency or department will be willing to dirty their municipal hands the next time.

          Meanwhile, the MHSCNC’s Linda Langevin fired off an email to Mayor Domenic Sarno expressing her bitterness over how her community is being treated by city officials.

          “I am extremely disturbed by the response received from your Director of Constituent Services, James Leydon,” wrote Langevin. “In his email, he states ‘Once we take responsibility we own it and residents expect the service.’

          “The residents in the Maple High Six Corners neighborhood receive very little in the way of ‘Quality of Life’ services from the City. It is no wonder that we have one of the lowest rates of home ownership in the city, we can't even get a trash can on city property emptied. Why on earth would anyone choose to buy a home in my neighborhood?”

          Langevin also went after Leydon’s assertion that the city was too cash-strapped to empty trash cans: “I must also point out the hundreds of hours each year that I and like minded neighborhood residents donate [time and money], cleaning up and beautifying Springfield. The MHSCNC pays for the hanging baskets on Maple, Central and Walnut Streets, the large planters on Central Street, the flowers and trees at the Cherry Lane Cemetery and, in conjunction with KSB, the dozen new trees at Gerrish Park. We also pay for two bulk trash drop offs each year enabling neighborhood residents to get rid of bulk trash free of charge; we average approximately nine tons of bulk trash per year. Keep Springfield Beautiful orchestrates a citywide clean up each year, having removed over 800 tons of trash and refuse from the city in the past four years.

          “So please don't point out your overworked city employees and your shrinking budget; my friends and neighbors donate their time for the betterment of the neighborhood and Springfield as a whole, not just the more affluent areas. The minimum that we should expect is cooperation from your staff.”

          No word yet on the Mayor’s response.

          The trash receptacle at the center of this political whirlwind, meanwhile, has since been emptied.
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: It's only a trash can...

            Originally posted by AFM View Post
            Are you telling me there really is a city called Springfield I thought Homer Simpson and family lived there.

            Tony
            There are about 30 of them in the US.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: It's only a trash can...

              They need more city departments involved. Then they can take turns emptying the trash just like children. Even better yet let them hire a union guy that only removes trash and another that only puts the fresh bags back in. Now there are 2 more jobs in the world and unemployment just went down.
              Last edited by Kevin Jones; 06-20-2010, 08:59 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: It's only a trash can...

                And nobody is smart enough to just make the trash can disappear
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: It's only a trash can...

                  They need more city departments involved. Then they can take turns emptying the trash just like children. Even better yet let them hire a union guy that only removes trash and another that only puts the fresh bags back in. Now there are 2 more jobs in the world and unemployment just went down.
                  Let's get a Wall Street banker do it then.


                  And nobody is smart enough to just make the trash can disappear
                  Another over simplified solution. Got any idea's on how to plug the BP leak while you are on a roll?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: It's only a trash can...

                    I think there are a lot of municipalities that are like this, and it doesn't necessarily have to be dependant on the size of the city either. But such things exist in poorly run companies too!

                    Here in Painted Post they're pretty good at some things, but there are many others that are ridiculous. For example, many years ago the village decided to provide 5-gal buckets for "recycling". These were the standard plastic buckets like Home Depot sells or that you purchase paint or dry wall mud.

                    Ours were black with a "county recycle" emblem silkscreened to side. Rumor at the time was that when the village got them from the county, there was some village trustee concern that they would be misused... "for washing your car"... so they had the village public works dept drill holes in the bottom of the buckets.

                    After the flood of 72' the village got a total revamp... very nice, with new water fountains, trash receptacles, new walkway lighting, bences, and even new fire boxes... but of course the village didn't appear to be able to maintain any of this and within a short time all of this decayed. The concrete and stone planters and the benches were all hauled away and the last time I took note the remnants were still sitting over behind the municipal park.

                    What really gets me is when I put yard debris (tree cuttings) out for them to pick up. Here I cut it up to small 4-ft or so cuts and carry it to the curb. Often it's rarely more than one or two fallen or trimmed branches after a storm. First the supervisor shows up with his station wagon, then in a few minutes a work crew (3 or 4 guys) will show up, then the big dump truck, then in several more minutes they come up with this massive front end loader.... then they position the truck diagonally across the street, thus blocking all traffic and then they manuever (quite a task in-itself) the front-end loader where they scoop all the stuff, after several trys" and then dump it into the truck.

                    In the aftermath of that, the road is all marked up by the tires, there's a big gouge in my lawn, and there's leaves and twigs everywhere, which I then have to go out and sweep out of the street. Good exercise for me of course, but during all that I never see the "workers" or the supervisor lift a finger. I guess they are just there to see how it's done.

                    Years ago, a crew like this was here to do a pick up a bundle of tied-up hedge trimmings. (I was at work at the time.) After about 15 minutes of looking, supervising, and manuevering, my wife told me that they hadn't picked anything up yet. At that point, my she lost her patience and went flying out the front door, grabbed the bundle off the curb and walked over and thru it up into the dump truck truck! She apparently took them all my surprise and even yelled at them that they ought to be ashamed at themselves..... that night after supper I got a call from my village board rep asking me to "control my wife". Personally I thought it was funnier than hell, as she's only 4'11" and barely weighes 90 lbs.

                    So, such are the way's of things in too many local governments... and county government... and state government.... and federal government.

                    Now in Binghamton I was joyously surprised last year. We found our sewer lined blocked by tree routes. This required us to dig up the front yard, locate the blockage, remove a section of pipe and jet out the debris. Unfortunately, it also required us to remove the source of the problem, a tree between the sidewalk and the curb.

                    My plumber, made a couple of phone calls and returned early the next morning to start the work. Inspectors from the gas, electric, and phone companies were there immediately. With 30 minutes a city employee was there to ensure that everything was in compliance and he already had clearance from the city "botonist" to authorize removal of the tree in question. Everything was accomplished within three hours, including the tree being taken down, cut-up and trucked away. The very next morning another city truck pulled up with three workers and they dug out the stump, cleared the roots and filled in the hole and even raked it off. They even swepped the walkway and the street of wood chips. I'm still amazed!

                    CWS
                    Last edited by CWSmith; 06-20-2010, 04:35 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: It's only a trash can...

                      ..




                      Another over simplified solution. Got any idea's on how to plug the BP leak while you are on a roll?[/QUOTE]

                      OK, let's examine this. There was no garbage can, there was no problem. Someone put a garbage can there, there is a problem. The city was not spending time and effort going round and round on the issue. There are now lawyers involved and the cost of screwing with this garbage can will probably top out at near a million. So who's oversimplifying?

                      And yes, I do have a solution to the oil spill. Let the engineers that have experience and knowledge of working at 5000 feet handle it and keep the dumb assed politicians the hell out of it. Guess what folks, not every problem in this world can be solved in a 15 minute sound bite. Better yet, let's fine BP trillions of dollars and put them out of business so that thousands of people can loose their jobs and screw the economy even more.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: It's only a trash can...

                        Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                        ..
                        OK, let's examine this. There was no garbage can, there was no problem. Someone put a garbage can there, there is a problem.
                        If you read there was a problem as garbage was being strew about the area as it was a bus stop, to solve the problem of the dumped garbage, it was concluded to put in a wast receptacle, (government wanted a special can that cost $1000 bucks), government had no funds for a can, so money was raised and the work as done to there specs, then they would take no responsibility on emptying the can on a regular and timely fashion.
                        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                        attributed to Samuel Johnson
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: It's only a trash can...

                          Originally posted by BHD View Post
                          If you read there was a problem as garbage was being strew about the area as it was a bus stop, to solve the problem of the dumped garbage, it was concluded to put in a wast receptacle, (government wanted a special can that cost $1000 bucks), government had no funds for a can, so money was raised and the work as done to there specs, then they would take no responsibility on emptying the can on a regular and timely fashion.
                          Well ya, but isn't this how governments operate ?
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: It's only a trash can...

                            Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                            Well ya, but isn't this how governments operate ?
                            Sounds as if you prefer anarchy.

                            I was unaware of any elected official getting in the way of BP trying to stop the leak. I am aware that BP has done a very thorough job of denying access to the leak and refusing to obey our governments demand to stop using dispersants.

                            "This American Government of ours should never be on its knees before corporate power, no matter how strong. It should never be in the thrall of corporate wealth, no matter how vast."
                            Sheldon Whitehouse on the senate floor 6-17-2010

                            The government is us. You sound as if you are on the verge of apologizing to a foreign owned corporation because we have been rude to them for destroying lives and property.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: It's only a trash can...

                              If ignorance is bliss than your must indeed be ecstatic
                              Last edited by NHMaster3015; 06-20-2010, 07:59 PM.
                              sigpic

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