If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

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land butcher
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If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby land butcher » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:35 pm

Where did government service go?

Recently we did a lot survey in a local city pop ~90,000. Found ties at an intersection no cl mon. No tie notes found on inet when we did a presurvey records search so we went to City Hall to see if they had ties.
We were told that the person we needed to talk to was in a meeting and asked for our email addy and said they would send them.
We got them 9 business days later.
When I worked for a similar city in the same County 4 people in the engineering dept could find cl ties and bench marks. We took staggered lunches so there was always someone there to help citizens that came to the counter, and we made a whole lot less money.
Seems the more people in government get paid the worse the service is.
This is not an isolated incident.

A city of similar size that adjoins the above city no longer takes voice mail messages. You either have to keep calling until someone decides to answer the phone or go in person.

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surveyoron
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby surveyoron » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:12 pm

The majority of tax dollars go to public safety, education and social programs. There is very little left for public works or engineering staffing. Please speak with the party in power.
Ron Garton, PLS 7717
County Surveyor
Humboldt County, CA

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DanFrink
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby DanFrink » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:53 pm

Thanks Ron, that's a great observation and suggestion.

I work for an agency. When I get in a request for information from the public I usually drop what I'm doing to attempt to get that information out. If I can't, I let the requester know an approximate time to getting them the information. I started in the private sector, for whatever that's worth.

I find it ridiculous that somehow someone goes to work for the public sector and magically they become a substandard employee. This constant rant is tiresome to listen to, and quite frankly is the main reason I don't visit this site often... But, I guess I come from the mindset that if I see a problem I try to fix it or I let it go. I find those who just sit back and complain to be annoying. Of course those whom I know that behave in such a manner usually lead lives which are reflective of that behavior, so I guess they get what they deserve.

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bruce hall
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby bruce hall » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:52 am

'Deservin's got nothing to do with it".

William Muny, The Unforgivin"

marois
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby marois » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:05 pm

My last experience with a public employee worked out quite well. While researching survey maps on the County of Riverside’s website and I was having an issue with downloading a copy of a particular map. I contacted Tim Rayburn, who was listed as the person to contact if you are having any problems, by email. Within 30 minutes, not only had I received an email response, but he had also attached a copy of the map that was needed for the survey I was planning on performing the next day.

To be honest, in my forty plus years of experience, most of my interactions with public employees have been positive and helpful.

Armand A. Marois, PLS

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Bruce Johnson
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby Bruce Johnson » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:29 pm

I have found that if you go into a situation expecting bad results, you give off a vibe to that effect.

Which often gets you exactly the result you are expecting.

Bruce Johnson, PLS
(Former government employee)

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Peter Ehlert
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby Peter Ehlert » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:09 am

Bruce Johnson wrote:I have found that if you go into a situation expecting bad results, you give off a vibe to that effect.

Which often gets you exactly the result you are expecting.


Good point. I try to remind myself of that
Peter Ehlert

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land butcher
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby land butcher » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:16 am

Bruce Johnson wrote:I have found that if you go into a situation expecting bad results, you give off a vibe to that effect.

Which often gets you exactly the result you are expecting.

Bruce Johnson, PLS
(Former government employee)


How does this apply to calling a City and getting the message "All employees are busy and we don't take messages"

As for the ties, The employee came to the counter said that the employee who handles ties is in a meeting we can send them to you. My son gave his email addy said thank you and we left.

You people seem to not read the fact I have been on both sides of the counter and over the last decade or so I have seen service from pubic agencies diminish. Maybe this is a subject for the private County Surveyors part of this site.

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RAM
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby RAM » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:11 am

I don't know how it is in the the big city, but in the rural County's, for most the goal is service. But as Ron stated, if your not in public safety, your at the lower end of the budget cycle. A lot of us manage our divisions with minimal staff and resources. for me it is myself and one other. The other joy for many of use is being tasked with "other duties as assigned" many which are outside of our main focus.
After 25 years of working in private, I can state my work ethic hasn't changed, however the work load is drastic. it is rare I devote more than an hour to any specific task, no I may not return your call that day, but will within 2 or worse case 3 and same in regards to email many times after hours. And yes we are human and yes once every 2 or 3 years I take a vacation, but always planned in advanced.

A motto used in private, I still use today, "Lack of Planning on Your part, Does not constituent an Emergency on my Part.",

Is there an issue with service? Sounds like it for that agency, but don't lump us all based on one bad apple, there are poor levels of service in the private sector as well.

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Warren Smith
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby Warren Smith » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:22 am

I'll echo what Russ said, as far as County services go in rural areas. Our assistance tends to be on a more familiar plane, due to less "assembly line" development.

Your beef seems to be with City services, and those have been declining for years. If a City is not growing, providing a high level of surveying response is not going to be a priority.
Warren D. Smith, LS 4842
County Surveyor
Tuolumne County

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land butcher
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby land butcher » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:54 pm

This particular City has 3 engineering associates receiving regular pay, other pay, and benefits one totaling $150k/year and the other 2 getting over $130k/year. It saddens me that apparently only the highest paid of them has the training to look up and email centerline tie information.

All we have down here are big cities unfortunately. There is always growth going on here. Many old areas the little old houses are being replaced with McMansions. As Peggy Cuomo told me about a year ago, "The vultures are waiting for me to die, so they can demo this house and build a McMansion." In HB an old house on 2- 25ft x130ft lots goes for ~$700k and gets replaced with 2 - $2 to $2.5 million dollar homes, price dependent on how close to the beach they are.

What RAM says probably has merit, I haven't looked in a few years but my neighboring city Tustin (pop ~83K and 11sq miles) over 50% of the ~ 700 employees are attached to the police dept.
Are all cities this way? I have no idea, I can only comment on the ones I have to deal with and I am purposely leaving the names out.

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dedkad
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Re: If it didn't keep getting worse I wouldn't be complaining

Postby dedkad » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:02 pm

Many cities don't have surveyors on staff, and as the population grows older, the techs who had familiarity with the old survey info are retiring or dying off and not being replaced. I can understand your frustration, but I can also say that in the City of 45,000 that I work in, I rarely get asked by surveyors to see the old field books. Maybe once a year at most. It is hard to justify keeping multiple people staffed to perform this task and make them available every second of the day when this issue comes up so rarely. Seems that most surveyors are able to find what they need by other methods.


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