Thursday, November 12, 2009

CMT meeting (11/11) - DPW & LCI representatives speak

I attended the November CMT meeting last night. Two City employees came on their day off (Veteran's Day) to share information and take questions. Attendees and the board were very appreciative that LCI's Elaine Braffman and Deputy Director of Pubic Works, Howard Weissberg came to speak and listen to Westville/West Hills neighbors.

Elaine Braffman reiterated that folks should call her at her work number with any issues and to please always leave a name and phone number. She will return your call AND will always keep complainants' names private. Please visit LCI's website for Elaine's phone number on their Neighborhood Services page and for more info about how LCI can be of assistance to residents.

Howard Weissberg joined DPW as Deputy Director about 6 months ago. He came with a background and expertise in Right of Way Management. He's currently working on improving New Haven's Right of Way Management Program including new perspectives, requirements & recommendations born out of the BOA's Complete Streets resolution and created steering committee... and henceforth legislation. Right of Way Management includes street and sidewalk management. Howard confirmed he's working to implement new methodologies for efficient repair techniques, better work-order & job tracking management, a fresh survey of roads and sidewalks, and many other related aspects to what is a very big job! This all must also interface and coordinate with several other City departments including Parks, Engineering, TT&P, and City Plan. He also mentioned, since sidewalks & trees very often should be assessed as one, that DPW is also partnering with urban tree experts, URI, to help with surveying and best practices. DPW is currently experimenting and finding success with new repair techniques that don't damage tree roots (which most often cause sidewalk problems), are quicker than old methods, and cost less.

Howard reminds folks that currently the best reporting method for issues is the City's Web311 interface.

Howard also chatted about DPW's street sweeping and leaf collection (DPW has finished removing leaves from Ward 25's streets. They'll probably be back for more in Dec. Howard reports that leaves fell late this year) - here's my Blog entry about Leaf collection and my Blog about Street Sweeping...

Also, here are the CMT minutes from last month (Oct.). I'll link to Nov's when they're posted.