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Sanitation Workers Key to New Program

November 03, 2000|STEPHANIE STASSEL

City official kicked off a pilot program Thursday that will ask West Valley garbage-truck drivers and their supervisors to report neighborhood problems so they can be addressed in a timely manner.

The purpose of the Bureau of Sanitation Community Enhancement Program is to create a systematic way to report problems, such as potholes, abandoned vehicles, tree branches blocking stop signs, and bulky items cluttering a neighborhood, officials said.

When a sanitation driver or supervisor in the West Valley sees such a problem, he can complete a simple form that will be sent to Councilwoman Laura Chick's office and forwarded to the appropriate city department.

"This is another way for city employees who are out there on a regular basis to be the eyes and ears of the community, along with residents and businesses that call problems to our attention," said Chick, who developed the program. "It's a common-sense thing and it didn't take a lot to get going."

Ellen Stein, president of the Board of Public Works, said she believes the program will be successful.

"It's exciting for the drivers," she said. "In addition to their duties, they will get to help out in terms of quality of life."

Chick expects the program, based on one started in the Los Angeles Police Department's West Valley Division three years ago, to go citywide in the coming months. Once the program is operating throughout the city, the forms will be routed directly to the department that can best handle the problem, she said.

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