On Monday, with moderate fanfare, we launched City Howl, a new website where Philadelphians can go to review city services. The idea here is to hold city government accountable by evaluating it publicly, the same way we review restaurants and other services.
So, what happened in the first week of Howl?
Well, here’s an easy one: City Council is not popular thus far. Twenty-two of 24 reviewers give Council one star, and the word “embarrassment” comes up more than once. I’ll tell you what I’d like to see: Reviews that focus on interactions with specific council members. You know the old adage about how Americans generally give Congress a bad rating, but like their local representatives? I wonder if that phenomenon is in play here. Maybe not. But tell us about your attempts, as constituents, to get help from Bill Greenlee, Joan Krajewski, Curtis Jones etc.
What else? Well, a couple of people
went to the
PPA page and complained about frequent illegal parking in
their neighborhoods — one even gave a specific location. PPA,
can we get some help? SEPTA’s
reviews aren’t bad (!), though EastChestnut would
like to see a bit more service on the 66 Trolley line. A few people
have had problems contacting the Water
Department. And, surprisingly, there’s not a single
review of DHS.