FW: How many DC bureaucrats does it take to change a light bulb?

In celebration of DDoT Director Dan Tangherlini’s promotion to interim head of Metro, I resurrect an old email to him.

Rob Halligan

—–Original Message—–
From: Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01 Commissioner)
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 2:07 PM
To: Dan.Tangherlini@dc.gov
Cc: Bill Rice; Ann Simpson-Mason
Subject: How many DC bureaucrats does it take to change a light bulb?

Director Tangherlini:

As an ANC Commissioner it is very easy to give up on making simple improvements in your constituents’ lives when every nearly every 727-1000 request we make ends up taking 6 months and an average of 6 follow ups to achieve closure with something like getting a light bulb replaced or a parking sign re-hung.

I’ve made at least 20 contacts over the 2 street lamps (listed below) that are out. I’m sorry to have to come directly to you but no one of the numerous people I’ve been shuffled between in your department has managed to fix these 2 lights since July, and no one has been able to tell me that they don’t have power to the pole. I’ve driven around with a guy showing him the poles, button-holed people a receptions, participated in conference calls, and sent emails. The magnitude of the Kafkaesque ridiculousness and inefficiency of this is hard to fathom.

They are:

Dead “Historical” Style light at SE end of the 1700 block of Riggs.

Dead “Historical” Style light in front of 1748 S Street.

Please fix these bulbs before we have another mugging under them,

Rob Halligan

—–Original Message———–

Ms. Simpson-Mason:

I acknowledged your efforts and praised everyone’s responsiveness. However, activity and progress are not always correlated. The system needs reforming.

It’s not the additional request response with which I had a problem. It’s the 3 problems that have been going around and around for numerous cycles over months that have me concerned. Instead of everyone “managing the issue”, why doesn’t someone actually get on a ladder and change the light bulbs and the one globe.

Efficiency is something someone whose property tax bill has doubled in the past couple years would like to see.

Rob Halligan

If dropping some light bulbs by my office would be the solution, I’d be game. I’d have preferred to repair my sidewalk myself than go through what I’m still going through with DDoT.

—–Original Message—–
From: Simpson-Mason, Ann (DDOT)
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 11:42 AM
To: ‘Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01 Commissioner)’; Gross, Steven (DDOT);
Simpson-Mason, Ann (DDOT)
Cc: Nwadike, Callistus (DDOT); Laden, Ken (DDOT); Ray, Clark (EOM);
Subject: RE: Request for MPD Stakeout on 1700 block of Riggs

Commissioner Halligan:

Steve Gross has been very responsive to your requests and we will work to make sure that the additional locations are inspected and fixed as soon as possible.


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