Thursday, January 05, 2006

Animal Control Seems To Be Trying To Lock Down Their Spot As Metro's Worst Service For 2006, Too

Animal Control won Enclave's 2005 Worst Metro Nashville Service Provider competition going away, and yet in their recent response to me, they seem to be gearing up to win back-to-back in 2006. One of the reasons they caught the judges attention in 2005, is that they made me wait during a December phone call for a good 20 minutes before answering and telling me that no dispatchers were available to answer my call. The only 2 Metro employees with whom I spoke during that phone call were female (at least their vocal pitch registered at a female level; if they were male, then they were both "high talkers").

Needless to say I was miffed, so before Christmas I contacted Brent Hager, a Health Department employee who seems to oversee Animal Control, and not merely in order to get action on strays in the neighborhood. I wanted to notify a supervisor that for the second time in three 2005 AC calls I had been put on hold for an inexcusable amount of time. I also thought that someone should know that I was told that there were no dispatchers at the phones while I was sitting patiently on hold.

I received an e-mail from Mr. Hager in short order saying that a preliminary investigation into my complaint found that I spoke with a "Mr. Kenny Mann" (yes, that's one ironic name). According to Mr. Hager, Mr. Mann entered my complaint of a dog "running at large." Even more puzzling was Mr. Hager's comment that Mr. Mann "is the only one who recalls" speaking with me on the phone.

I was at a complete loss. There were only two possibilities: either Mr. Mann was a high talker or someone at Animal Control was covering for someone else. I wrote Mr. Hager back on December 21 saying that I spoke with no man and with no one identified as "Mann." I asked Mr. Hager to have Mr. Mann call me to jog my memory of my report to him. It is two weeks later and I have yet to get that phone call from Mr. Mann. I do not think I will ever get it. I frankly would be surprised if I hear from Mr. Hager again unless I contact him again, considering he is the same Health Department official who seemed to drop the ball I threw him on an illegal tire dump last May.

Animal Control seems to be getting a head start on the competition in their headlong pursuit of inferiority. I wish they would aim higher. This is the kind of poor performance that makes conservatives crow that government screws up everything. They are hurting their own cause and alienating those of us who value Metro services, but expect them to be run well.

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