New Haven resident calls for trash collection, action against drug dealers, speeders on Stevens Street
The following letter, titled "A Forgotten Neighborhood -- Stevens Street, New Haven," was sent to Public Works Director John Prokop, Mayor John DeStefano Jr., other city officials and the news media. It is reprinted here with permission:
Dear Mr. Prokop,
For two weeks my and my neighbor's trash hasn't been picked up. I called your office yesterday and was assured it would be picked up. It wasn't. I called this morning and was assured it would be picked up. It hasn't been. It is the hottest day of the year and this is a hazard to all of the kids on our street. There are maggots and flies all around and the garbage is now spilling over. Would you please advise as to your plans? Also, if you have no plans to pick it up, who shall I send the invoice to so I can have it picked up by a company since your workers aren't doing their job? I won't be paying for this twice. Again, this is beyond disgusting and a hazard to the children.
This neighborhood has been forgotten about. Just this past weekend a 19 year old boy was struck down by a speeding car going in the wrong direction. There are drug deals going on. There are children out past midnight running up and down the street. There are nothing but children on our street and I won't let mine out because its simply not safe. Now, its not safe because even the air they breathe could be damaging because of the piling up of garbage and infestation that I was assured would be removed yesterday and then AGAIN, today. Further, I don't understand the escalation process for any of the departments in this city. When you don't receive an answer to a question or a problem, you're left to continue speaking with the same people who don't have the answers. In my experience that only comes from bad management. I'm not accusing, but will say that if you had properly trained individuals either addressing the issue or referring you to someone who can address it, my frustration wouldn't be at this level and quite possibly - just maybe - the issue would have been resolved. That comes from the top - down.
I believe in accountability. I will do my job as a citizen and you must do yours as an official. I ask you to reply all and advise of your plan.
Catherine Lawson can be reached at email@example.com.
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