Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

IOM editorial: City needs to plug in

Yesterday a City Council committee considered legislation that would require the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication, which handles parking-ticket appeals, to allow citizens to fight tickets online or by phone. Shouldn’t these options have been available, like, yesterday?

IOM editorial: City needs to plug in

Yesterday a City Council committee considered legislation that would require the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication, which handles parking-ticket appeals, to allow citizens to fight tickets online or by phone. Shouldn’t these options have been available, like, yesterday?

Especially since for most of us, fighting an unfair parking ticket means taking a day off work and spending it in a waiting room — or else just deciding,“screw it, it’s not worth it” and paying up.

Concerned BAA administrators fear that these changes would lead to a flood of appeals and that face-to-face conversations are more “satisfying” for members of the public.

It may be true that the number of contested tickets would increase with electronic and phone hearings. But it seems just as likely that more time-intensive in-person appeals would decrease (though they’ll still be available), freeing up staff time. And why not let the public decide which kind of appeal “satisfies” us more?

More to the point, quality customer service means making things easier for the customer by adapting the way you do business. The city ought to adopt a more customer-service-friendly attitude. It’s ridiculous that in 2012, Philadelphians can’t use the Internet or the telephone to communicate with their government.

This editorial originally appeared in the Daily News.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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