When Rita Met Sid: A Play in Four Acts

At SeeClickFix we pride ourselves on the direct communication that we enable between government officials and citizens. A recent conversation about garbage dumping in Santa Fe epitomizes the sort of accessible, conversational, citizen-government interaction we hope to encourage.

I've rewritten the following SeeClickFix thread as a script. Grab a friend and act out the following parts: practice makes perfect when it comes to performing in the style of OpenGov. And as it turns out, getting rid of garbage dumps can be heartwarming stuff.

Setting: SeeClickFix Issue 35283. A SeeClickFixer named Sid has just reported that an empty lot is strewn with garbage, debris, appliances, etc. The lot is on north side of W. Alameda between Don Emilio and Tres Arroyos, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The hot desert son is making the garbage stink a little. The Santa Fe Government has just received an alert about the problem.

Characters:

Rita: Constituent Services Liaison for the City of Santa Fe
Sid: SeeClickFixer

Act I: About 1 month ago

Rita:

Hi Sid, Thanks for reporting this, I spoke with a representative from our Solid Waste Division who will get back to me with an assessment. If it is determined that the trash and debris is on public property, we will definitely clean it up. I will get back to you with more information as soon as I receive it. Once again, thank you for contacting us.

Sid:

Dear Ms. Maes, Thank you for the prompt reply. I will look forward to your findings. It it turns out to be on private property, is there any recourse?

Rita:

Hi Sid, A staff member went out to the site and it appears to be private property; our Compliance Officer will go out tomorrow to give us a recommendation on how we will handle this case. [...] Property owners usually clean up to avoid court costs. I will bring you up to date once I receive information from our Compliance Officer tomorrow.

Sid:

Dear Ms. Maes, Thank you very much. I will await your update. Best regards, Sid

Rita:

Dear Sid, I recieved the following information this afternoon, and will follow thru with our Code Enforcement Office. Thanks.

From: Olivar Barela
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2010 4:00 PM
To: Rita B. Maes
Subject: West Alameda Property

Rita,
As mentioned last week concerning the property in question on West Alameda; Joe Martinez the Solid Waste Compliance Officer has taken a look at this property and suggests that this issue be brought to the attention of the Santa Fe County Land Use Code Enforcement Division, under SFO 1993-6 Junked and Hazardous Vehicles Ordinance or/and SFO 1993-11, Refuse Control and Anti-litter Ordinance.
Thanks!

Sid:

Thank you again for your continued attention to this matter.

Act II: About 3 weeks ago

Sid:

Do I need to contact the Code Enforcement Division, or have you already?

Rita:

Good Morning Sid, I will check on the status and get back to you today.

Act III: About 1 week ago

Sid:

Dear Rita, Are there any developments on this matter? Thank you.

Rita:

Good Morning Sid, yes, the owner who lives in Seattle Washington was cited. He made arrangements for the clean up, but since stopped. Staff will notify him again before we summons him into court. The Code Enforcement Officer on the case is Rick Lovato. He will keep me advised as we make progress.

Act IV: Yesterday

Rita:

Sid, The owner of the West Alameda property is meeting with our Code Enforcement Officer this afternoon. We are making progress on this issue.

Sid:

Thank you for your diligence with this

Rita:

Sid, The property owner received a Notice of Violation and has 15 days to clear out the debris and garbage on his property. The owner also applied for a permit from the City to fence off his property to prevent further illegal dumping on his property.

The End. Or just the beginning?