Updates About Interesting Happenings
In Our District
City Stat Update
Mary Pat's Opening Statement at the April 13th Hearing:
- We know about CitiStat Director Mark Grimes's "diverse" other jobs in addition to his Cabinet position as director of CitiStat at a salary of $123,644, beginning in January 2014.
- We know that the Domestic Violence Task Force and the Felony Gun Arrest initiatives have not met since October 2014, despite positive outcomes when engaged.
- We know that, in 2014, CitiStat failed to publish any departmental reports, held only 37 of the 240 meetings set as City Budget targets with City agencies, and meanwhile increased its budget to $1 million.
- We understand that these concerns and the current "State of CitiStat" are reportedly supported by the Mayor's Office as part of a transition process to a more collaborative CitiStat program.
LEARNING THE NATURE OF THAT NEW CITISTAT PROGRAM
SHOULD BE A GOAL OF THIS HEARING.
There seems to be no written report from the consultant paid to help
"flesh it out."
(A power point presentation made to the Mayor's Cabinet in August 2014 reportedly dealt with a CitiStat refocus on oversight of "Budget Outcomes" as presented in the annual City Budget, i.e., the generic Better Schools, Safer Streets, Stronger Neighborhoods, A Growing Economy, Innovative Government, A Healthier City, A Cleaner City.)
My goal in these opening remarks, however, is to explain WHY WE AND THE PUBLIC SHOULD CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CURRENT CITISTAT PROGRAM AND HOW CITISTAT NEEDS AN INFUSION OF UPDATING:
BECAUSE CITISTAT IS WHERE OUR 311 CALLS GO FOR FOLLOW-UP!
We all use 311.. Our constituents call 311 for help. When they call us, we ask them to get an SR number from 311. It's STEP ONE for which CITISTAT is the accountability factor, working consistently with City agencies they oversee to validate satisfactory completion.
On its own website, CitiStat explains the 311 connection (that is supposed to occur), to quote:
CitiStat/ Tenets: Accurate & Timely Intelligence Shared By All
There are three main sources of information on which the CitiStat process relies.The first is the 311 system.* …. Detailed information about the call, the service request and the agency response are recorded and available for review at CitiStat sessions. *The other two main sources of information agency statistical reports and field work.
Baltimore has a non-emergency service request line – 311. Each Service Request (SR) is tracked from the moment it is reported until it is completed. For example, a citizen may report an out streetlight by calling 311 and providing an approximate address for the light pole. Once the SR is created, the City has committed to fixing the light within 4 days [wow!]. There are hundreds of SR's that citizens may request, each with its own resolution time. CitiStat seeks to ensure that each SR is completed in a timely, competent and efficient manner.
Every CitiStat analyst is issued a digital camera – a very powerful tool if you want to show that trash was left behind on a route or that a job site was not cleaned properly. The CitiStat team has a fulltime investigator and each of the analysts spend a significant amount of their time in the field as well.
After each meeting [with CitiStat] the Agency receives a one-page follow-up consisting of recommendations and specific data requests for the next meeting. CitiStat is an ongoing process – results are relentlessly pursued from one meeting to the next.
- Involve City agencies, 311, and CitiStat in collaboratively updating CitiStat's existing program to establish realistic 311 follow-up deadlines for ALL major SR-listed complaints and a schedule of timely, consistent, and "collaborative" Agency oversight meetings for the balance of this fiscal year and the future;,
- Determine when the "Budget Outcome" add-ons will be initiated and how staffed/conducted, ensuring that such add-ons will not diminish the SR accountability crucial to the Agency/311/CitiStat partnership;
- Ensure access and transparency for the public through resumption of CitiStat reports in this quarter;;
- Initiate CitiStat public postings on the status of priority categories of SR requests; and,
- Require that the CitiStat director devote his full time and attention to directing these efforts and addressing these concerns.
CitiStat is a process in which City agency managers come before a panel of "higher ups" to account for how well they are meeting citizen requests for service. It's a "grilling" based completion of the kinds of requests handled by 311.
To be effective, CitiStat conferences have to be consistent, for example, once every 2 weeks or once a month per agency. According to recent Sunpapers' reports, the consistency is lagging in some areas, and new CitiStat approaches are being considered.
The purpose of the CitiStat resolution and hearing is for City Council and the public to learn more about the direction in which this process is headed and to ensure that the accountability factor remains a priority.
3200 St.Paul Street Project Update!
March 22, 2015
Preparations for the construction project on the SW corner of St.Paul and 33rd Street have officialy begun! Between now (mid-March, 2015) and roughly August 2016, pedestrian traffic will be re-routed off of the areas indicated by red lines in the image below:
For more information about the project, click here: www.3200stpaul.com
Remington Village Green
March 16, 2015
Baltimore Green Space has protected another garden! We'd like to introduce you to Remington Village Green. Congratulations to the Remington gardeners for creating and caring for this wonderful place.
Founded in 2008, the Remington Village Green (2812-2822 Fox Street) is a space for growing fruit, vegetables, herbs, native plants, and flowers, to promote community participation, wellness, and sustainable food practices. A rotating cast of about 25 gardeners cultivate and beautify the garden, and host events such as cookouts, art days, and Easter egg hunts. Community plantings such as fruit trees (fig, peach, pear, cherry, and plum), berries (blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries), asparagus, herbs, and hibiscus are enjoyed by all. Partners include Parks and People, the Church of the Guardian Angel, the Greater Remington Improvement Association, and the Center for Social Concern at Johns Hopkins. The gardeners hope to offer even more art, garden education, and community celebration, and be an example of how hands-on neighborhood improvement efforts bring beauty and liveliness to formerly discarded spaces. For more information, contact Ashlie Kauffman at remingtonvillagegreen AT gmail.com.
Andrew Dunn on August 1, 2016
Lorraine Mirabella and Natalie Sherman on April 18, 2016