Passing the buck, when you don’t have a buck to pass.

Dayton isn’t salting or plowing until the streets are really bad.

Well, tonight–people were spinning their wheels on Wayne heading up to Wilmington. Literally–not moving. I drive well in the snow and I was having a hard time getting traction.

So I called 333-cops, the non-emergency number, to let them know that they had a sheet of ice on a bad intersection. It’s a public safety issue. What did the curt dispatcher tell me? “It’s bad all over the city” and “we aren’t the people who salt the streets.”

And they call themselves “public servants.”

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14 Responses

  1. Larkin January 12, 2009 / 7:46 am
    And as a result . . . no school today. How lame.

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  2. Drexel Dave Sparks January 12, 2009 / 8:05 am
    Uh, no, the schools were called today due to my birthday thank you. Kurt called me up late Sunday night and asked me what I thought, and well, you can see the fruits of my decision today.

    Loves me a snow day, especially on a birthday!

    Salute!

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  3. John Ise January 12, 2009 / 10:07 am
    It’s a balmy 78 degrees in Miami and the sun is shining. Can’t say I miss Ohio winters.

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  4. Mike January 12, 2009 / 11:44 am
    No school = no education that day = no stress pay day for staff. Do the schools still heat all classrooms as if it were a normal weekday on snow days like this? If there are enough snow days does DPS extend the school year?

    David – Did they tell you who to call instead?

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  5. Jeff January 12, 2009 / 12:21 pm
    Thanks, Dave

    I’ll know to avoid the city in icy or snowy weather.

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  6. jeremy January 12, 2009 / 12:51 pm
    Yup. All of Huffman last night was a slippery slope.

    Your call reminds me of the time i had to call around in circles to different city departments to get rid of a dead thing in the abandoned house next door. Nobody wanted to take responsibility, just because it was on grass that was owned by some mysterious entity. I finally had to track down the shady owner in question (it had been bought back and forth between different companies that may or may not be owned by the same people). Of course it doesn’t matter that i had to, in effect, reveal myself as the complainant to this shady person. The city won’t do anything for ordinary citizens – below a certain tax bracket anyway.

    Hell, when our house was broken into i had to wait two hours, after telling the dispatcher that i wasn’t completely certain there wasn’t anyone in the house.

    On another occasion, a starving cat was apparently trapped inside the aforementioned abandoned house next door. The dispatcher had me walk over and see what i could do! Never mind that there could very well have been armed meth heads inside.

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  7. David Esrati January 12, 2009 / 2:13 pm

    @mike-
    Of course they didn’t tell me who to call- it’s not their problem.
    Customer service is a lost art in local government.
    It’s one of the reasons I keep running for Dayton City Commission.
    Maybe this time-

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  8. ShortWest Rick January 12, 2009 / 10:03 pm
    Oh come on, last year salt went from $75 to $150 a ton and it’ll cost over $300 a ton this spring to replentish supplies due to fuel prices in effect when it was mined and transported to the distribution yard last year. No city north of the Mason Dixon is salting. It’s just another little inconvience we’ll have to live with for a while called the Bush Legacy.

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  9. Gene January 12, 2009 / 10:22 pm
    SWRick, David thinks his tax dollars cover clearing his driveway and walkway………. same guy who does not bother to rake in the fall, like most folks in So.Park. He expects, NO, demands it be done by the city. Typical Lib.

    Grow some balls fellas……….. and ladies.

    Happy BURTday, Birthday, Drexal Dave. How is the 8th wonder of the world?

    It was not that bad.

    Do not use the “parent” excuse, bc I was told that parents don’t go to “parents” meetings at the schools bc they have to work at night. Sorry, can’t have it BOFF ways Dayjiggens!

    Oakwood plowed and salty, though!!!!!!!!! easy driving in those parts. And they had school………..

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  10. David Esrati January 12, 2009 / 11:13 pm

    @gene- while you’re stalking me- why don’t you just come to my door and offer to rake my leaves for cash? Or is it that you are too lazy to do anything but shovel your sh*t onto this site?
    Do us all a favor- go write your own blog http://www.wordpress.com

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  11. Frosty the Snowman January 12, 2009 / 11:43 pm
    Yes, salt is very expensive this year. How many cops should we take off the street so we can have salt for the one day this winter we’ve had a dusting of snow? Ohio has a serious snow-phobia. Get over it, Ohio!

    On the other hand, there’s no excuse for bad customer service. There’s also no excuse for calling the wrong number and expecting the right results. The Public Works Call Center is 333-4800.

    It goes both ways.

    Also, it is not appropriate to call Police about dead cats, either. I can only imagine how ridiculous that conversation sounded!

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  12. David Esrati January 13, 2009 / 6:40 am

    @Frosty-
    Is Public Works number operative 24/7? How many numbers does a citizen have to know? Couldn’t the NON-EMERGENCY dispatcher connect me, or give me the right number? Was this a matter of public safety?
    How many cops were wasting their time with accidents that could have been avoided by salting at least key intersections?
    It goes both ways.
    You got this part right: “there’s no excuse for bad customer service”

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  13. Gene January 13, 2009 / 10:26 am
    Stalking? I am making a reference to the man and woman in Tanks a week ago that were B&M that most people in SP don’t rake in the fall – I laughed and and said wait until it snows, and both of them were about to cry (but laughed.) They are new to SP, or relatively new.

    I was just making a small joke about SP and those who expect everything from government, which is you. Relax…….

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  14. Larkin January 13, 2009 / 12:50 pm
    Here’s the number for dead cats. 333-4800. (If the body of the poor cat is on the grass, take a shovel and carry it to the street or sidewalk. Then call.) I called this number every day when I was looking for Dear Macy, as they also pick up dogs that have been hit by cars. Weirdly, they don’t keep a log of the dog’s description (how hard would that be? Large black furry dog, small white short haired dog, medium size spotted dog) They got to know me from my every day calls and I sent a picture to them, so they knew who they were to keep an eye out for. Though I absolutely hated making that call, they were really pretty nice to me. (And when Macy was found– alive!– I called to tell them and they were pleased for us) Which brings me to the point (at last) I wanted to make — honey goes a lot farther than vinegar in dealing with people who work in the public sector. “Please,” “thank you,” “I’m sorry to bother you,” and “I really appreciate it,” go along way in making those interactions run more smoothly. Sarcasm absolutely gums up the works.

    Having moved from Montana, where they have a lot more snow and really poor street clearing, I was relieved last year to see how well Dayton handled it and dismayed to see what a poor decision they’ve made this year. If they make any clearing attempt that still leaves the roads dangerous for passage they leave themselves wide open to liability.

    Frosty, your arguments are specious. Cities often operate in negative budgets– no cops would be laid off in order to fund the street maintenance department.

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