City finds a way to answer the questions the public has - email is working at this point. Credit is due

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier today we reported on the city decision to shut down every service being delivered by city hall and send everyone home where they would do their best to get some work done – this meant no one was in the building to handle any phone calls.

The city decided to rely on email.

One Gazette reader said “we should have a means to ask Service Burlington questions by phone. Why the Mayor does not consider that essential in these times is beyond a common sense approach to serving the residents in these peculiar times.”

angela-morgan

Angela Morgan

Angela Morgan, former city Clerk, now the Strategic Lead – Customer Experience for Service Burlington said via email that “we are responding to most general questions within 24 hours. It only takes longer if the inquiry is about a specific service or file and then it has to be forwarded to the appropriate staff person and they may take longer to respond depending on the complexity of the question.”

Morgan added: “There are many questions about COVID-19;  the nature of those questions changes daily as new information comes out from other levels of government.

“The other area of questions relate to city services and how to access various services, what is open and closed.”

City Manager Tim Commisso,added, via email that “Our technology allows Service Burlington staff to work remotely; the email volume being handled by SB has increased in past couple weeks between 50% and 65% depending on the service area.

Having watched two Special City Council meetings which were done remotely – one has to come to the conclusion that they work. A little on the awkward side – but they do work and any bumps will get ironed out.

Give them credit for making the best of a tough situation.

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2 comments to City finds a way to answer the questions the public has – email is working at this point. Credit is due

  • Anne and Dave Marsden

    Did you know? Burlington Council in 2016 removed the definition of transparency and accountability from their procedural by-law. This was one of many changes that were not listed as being made covered by “housekeeping changes”. Changes that were consequently made without notice (no transparency) and, therefore, made without public being offered opportunity to ask for them to remain. Because they managed to remove these definitions from the procedural by-law does not mean they do not apply. The Municipal Act requires them and as Gazette correctly stated the media’s job is to ensure both occur not act as an extension of the city’s public relations office and the Better Burlington blog.

  • Rob Allan

    As you quite rightly ackowledge “credit is due”. In these difficult times, let’s have more positive feedback.

    Editor’s note: Our job is not to provide “positive feedback” – that’s cal;led public relations. Our job is to insist on transparency and accountability.

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