Letter | Herberta Schroeder: The Ins and Outs Part One: How to Resolve Issues at the City Level

From your property line inward is the responsibility of you, your landlord or apartment management. From your property line at the city right of way (street or area between property and street) outward is the responsibility of the city except for television, Wi-Fi, gas, electric and propane.

If you have an issue with an employee or department within the city, call that department’s supervisor. If it gets resolved, you’re done.

The next step for an unresolved issue is going to the supervisor’s supervisor or head of the department.

If unresolved:

Contact the next highest person, which is often a larger department such as Public Works, which is the overall head of the road, water, sewer, garbage departments.

If the issue is still unresolved:

It’s time to call the city manager. It is likely that his administrative assistant will be your first contact in his office. She can direct you to voicemail or take a message and alert the city manager that you want an appointment by phone or in person, if necessary.

If the city manager is unable to resolve your issue:

The City Council meeting is held at the Mohave County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St., on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at 5:30 p.m. Arrive early and sign up for the Call to the Public portion of the council meeting.

You will have three minutes, time and agenda permitting, to explain your complaint, request or suggestion for a solution.

All of the department heads attend, as well as the city manager, and everyone will hear the same information at the same time. The council can ask questions for clarification, but the extent of their ability to act is to direct the appropriate staff to investigate the issue and find possible resolutions. Sometimes they may respond with a thank you or a smile. It depends on what the issue is.

If in a few weeks nothing has changed, then there are two things to do.

Take a personal inventory of how you are reacting to the situation and look at the facts. Determine if it is really an issue or your perception and a failure to work and play well with others.

If that is not the case, write an open letter to the city via your local paper’s editorial section and place it out there for public opinion.

Anyone that has experienced a similar problem may then realize they need to speak up at a council meeting or in editorial form, and that is how public opinion causes change.

Getting enough people to identify a problem and suggesting solutions is the core of making our city a better place.

Remember, the people in the city infrastructure are your friends and neighbors. They get that you’re upset. Tell them the facts. Don’t yell, name call, swear or curse at them.

They really are there to help.

If you have questions for Herberta, send the to AskHerberta@gmail.com.