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29 November 2001

Houston Public Works

I received a phone call from a gentleman with the City of Houston today regarding my complaint about the traffic signal malfunction yesterday. It seems the complaint website, which Mayor Brown launched with great fanfare not all that long ago, did not forward this gentleman all of the details of the complaint. I gave him the details of the malfunction, and he promised to check the repair logs and call me back, which he did within five minutes. Apparently, the light was not malfunctioning all day, but had multiple malfunctions until the problem was finally diagnosed and corrected (at 7 pm). The gentleman was very professional in explaining the problem, and even left me a direct phone number and asked that I call directly if I ever observe similar problems, since messages from the website "sometimes get lost and sometimes don't have accurate information." I will add that number to my cell phone.

I have no beef with the city on the handling of repairs on this particular matter (sporadic electronic malfunctions can be a bear to diagnose), but it is distressing that Mayor Brown's solution to numerous complaints on handling of repairs -- a website launched with great fanfare -- is ineffective, since the information was not conveyed properly to the department that needed to get it, and it is annoying that three police officers within a two-minute walk (at most) didn't see any need to go direct traffic by hand until matters were resolved. This is typical of the city under the leadership of Lee Brown, and was NOT typical of the city under the leadership of his predecessor, Bob Lanier (which probably makes it more frustrating).

Orlando Sanchez may prove to be a disappointment, but change at City Hall is desperately needed.

[Posted @ 03:51 PM CST]

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