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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

FOI At Work: Picking Up the Trash

South Los Angeles residents aren't the only ones having a tough time getting city crews to clean up alleyways strewn with refuse and dead animals. Not even an aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa could get quick action when he complained about illegal dumping earlier this year, according to a Times review of city records.

The mayoral aide alerted the Department of Public Works in early March about rubbish completely blocking an alley in a pocket of Watts prone to illegal dumping. But more than two months passed before workers cleaned the byway near East 113th Street and Graham Avenue, according to city records.

A spokesman for the mayor said his office was unaware of the delay until told by The Times earlier this week. The aide said he never followed up on his request because he assumed the department would take care of the problem.

Last week, after The Times reported that illegally dumped trash festered for a month or longer in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods, Villaraigosa ordered a report to determine how long it takes for crews to respond to complaints from residents. The report is expected to be completed by the end of this week.

But records show that the mayor's office, as well as residents who called the city's 311 non-emergency number, have regularly waited anywhere from two weeks to two months for alleys to be cleaned...

The city documents reviewed by The Times were obtained under a California Public Records Act request. They detail two dozen requests for service from January through the end of May in three areas where public works officials say illegal dumping has been a problem for years.

More here.

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