Janine Coppola, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services, visited the Clean Streets Committee to give an update on the “Mayor’s Hotline.” The office runs a 7-day, 24-hour hotline where residents can call 617-635-4500 anytime day or night to report a problem. Requests can also be made online at http://www.cityofboston.gov/mayor/24. While acknowledging some stumbling blocks along the way, Coppola said “the goal is to make the hotline a “one-stop” place for residents to report issues related to city services.”
The hotline has existed for over 25 years, but has been gaining more visibility in recent years as the “go-to” place for city service requests. The office has received over 92,000 calls/cases since a major technology upgrade was made in October 2008. Coppola said “cases are skyrocketing” as more citizens become aware of the service. Most reports are regarding missed trash pickup, dead animals (i.e., rats), street cleaning/snow plowing and street litter baskets. The hotline is also the place to go to report potholes, graffiti, tree pruning, sidewalk issues and any type of issue that falls under city services. An exception is that crime and public safety issues should be directed to “911.”
City Hall is encouraging residents to use more of its services online. Citizens Connect is the branded service which is branching out with applications for iPhones and other mobile devices. An entire list of online Citizens Connect services can be found here.
Residents at the meeting gave mixed feedback regarding their experience with the hotline. Many were positive after receiving quick resolution, while others have become frustrated with the handling of certain cases. Coppola said they are working on training the staff that receives the calls and residents should ask for a tracking number so they can follow their cases. Unfortunately, the office has no direct control over other city agencies which is often why certain issues take longer to resolve.
Other items from the Clean Streets meeting:
- Kathy from Councilor LaMattina’s office reported that 35 code enforcement tickets were issued in the first 2 days of the new North End cleanliness pilot program. Of the tickets issued, 60% went to restaurants in the neighborhood.
- The Green Ticket bill goes into effect on May 29th. Ticket fines are $25 and unpaid amounts go on the property owners tax bill.
Good Neighbor Recognition Award – The committee awarded two businesses with the first month’s award. The winners are V. Cirace & Sons on Richmond Street and True Value Hardware on Salem Street. The committee is trying to acknowledge businesses that consistently keep their sidewalks and gutters clean. Committee representatives will be presenting the awards in person. Look for pictures here on NorthEndWaterfront.com and in the Regional Review.
The next Clean Streets committee meeting is May 18th at the Nazzaro Center, 7:00pm. More information can be found at cleanstreets.newra.org.