Baha'i News -- Street repairs among pleas to mayor Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Street repairs among pleas to mayor

By Rick Orlov
Staff Writer

A month after Mayor James Hahn invited residents to chat about their everyday problems, his aides say they have either resolved or are working on the 20 complaints received at his first "Meet the Mayor" session, as well as more than a dozen submitted by Daily News readers.

William Tisdale's challenge to L.A. Mayor James Hahn is to see the street repaired in front of his Winnetka home. (John Lazar / Daily News)
"If we haven't resolved them yet, we are working on them," said Deputy Mayor Doane Liu, who heads up Hahn's seven-person Office of Neighborhood Advocates.

"This is our priority. This is our job," Liu said. "We will be following up to make sure the jobs are done."

A list of the complaints provided to the Mayor's Office showed that all had been reviewed and -- in such cases as tree trimming, potholes, sidewalk and street repairs -- taken care of immediately.

In one case, involving a collapsed hillside that was the property owner's responsibility, city crews went out and cleaned up the dirt that covered a sidewalk.

Other complaints involving illegal vendors and abandoned vehicles were referred to the City Attorney's Office and citations were issued. One complaint of an abandoned vehicle could not be resolved because it was parked on federal property and had the proper vehicle tags.

However, for Betty Lynch of North Hollywood, the job hasn't been done. She is still waiting for the city to turn on a street light erected several years ago at the end of her driveway.

Lynch said she has received a number of calls from the city Bureau of Street Maintenance since her letter to the Daily News was forwarded to the Mayor's Office -- but that she still feels frustrated. Lynch had organized neighbors to approve a lighting assessment district to get the street light operating when work on an adjoining condominium project was abandoned.

"I did get a call from the Bureau of Street Maintenance and they said they didn't understand why the work hadn't been done," she said.

Liu said he would determine the status of Lynch's project and ensure that the work was completed as soon as possible.

His office also provided a list of a number of other complaints that had been taken care of -- including street and sidewalk repairs, tree trimming and the filling of potholes.

Hahn, who began his monthly "Meet the Mayor" sessions June 13 at the Van Nuys Municipal Building, held a second round Thursday in South Los Angeles, where he met with 20 people who were randomly selected after writing to meet with the mayor. The next session will be Aug. 4, at an undetermined location in West L.A.

William Tisdale Sr. made the 30-mile trip from his home in Winnetka to the Tom Bradley Community Center in South Los Angeles, feeling skeptical but figuring it was a calculated risk to bring his complaint about city services directly to the man in charge.

"We'll see how it works out," Tisdale said, following his nearly 10-minute private meeting with the mayor.

"The meeting went great. He was very polite and ordered the city people to take care of my problem. But I've heard that before. We'll see if the problem is fixed."

For Tisdale, the complaint was about repairs to the street in front of his home.

"We would complain and they would come out and put in patches," Tisdale said. "Now, it looks like a crazy quilt. We just want it to look nice. We've been promised since 1996 that it would be taken care of."

Many of the complaints were those officials routinely receive regarding tree trimming and street repairs. But, Hahn also met with nine members of the local Bahai community who wanted his support to bring peace in the city. The mayor agreed.

"This is what being mayor and being in city government is all about -- public service," Hahn said later. "Since I've been mayor we've handled more than 6,000 complaints. If you don't want to deal with these kinds of problems, you don't belong here."


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