In the past year, the WRBA said it has had several interactions with city agencies that were challenging. For example, in October 2014, the civic asked the Sanitation Department to end what the WRBA characterized as its unfair practice of issuing tickets to property owners in the middle of the night for garbage dumped on their properties.
In a release, the organization said it had become a common nighttime occurrence for people to leave trash outside Jamaica Avenue storefronts, and for Sanitation enforcement agents to write Notices of Violation in the middle of the night, fining property owners for failing to dispose of trash they didn’t know was there.
The WRBA said this was costing struggling business owners hundreds of dollars.
And although Bill de Blasio wrote DSNY when he was Public Advocate, asking the agency to end the practice, nothing has been done on the issue since he became mayor, the Woodhaven civic noted.
In another report earlier this year, the WRBA called out the Department of Transportation for failure to correct inadequate and “dangerous” lighting in Forest Park, to “years’ long” delays in installing needed speed bumps in Woodhaven.
Asked about the mayor’s interaction with civic groups, some leaders said he needs to engage more with the borough organizations that are the voice of residents.
“Mayor de Blasio is not as active with community groups as previous mayors,” said Joann Ariola, president of the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic.
Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, was blunt when asked about accessibility.
“We write letters and fill out online forms and we NEVER get a response,” Holden said, adding that when de Blasio was Public Advocate, his office reached out to the JPCA often.
“Since he’s been mayor, nothing,” Holden said, noting that while some city agencies are better than others when it comes to responsiveness, he noted that the Mayor’s Office is “totally unresponsive.”