Augusta Cares handles city's questions, gripes

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Martha King has a job most people wouldn't volunteer for: listening to complaints.

Ms. King, coordinator of the Augusta Cares service, says that it's not as bad as all that.

"I try to remember to use a word other than 'complaint,' " she admitted. " 'Issues' or 'requests' is better."

Whatever you call them, Ms. King stays busy answering up to 125 calls daily about garbage pickup, overgrown grass and other things that bother Augusta dwellers.

The system was introduced to Augusta in 1996 by City Administrator Randy Oliver. It works as a clearinghouse for residents to voice concerns or get information on topics ranging from death certificates to spraying for mosquitoes.

Before Augusta Cares was created, most people would call the mayor's office or their city commissioner with such issues, tying up phone lines and taking up time.

"We're here to take some of the workload off of other city administrators, such as the mayor or city commissioners," Ms. King said.

After Ms. King receives a call, she takes the citizen's name, phone number and address and enters them with the complaint into the Augusta Cares database. She then decides which city department to assign the question.

The department will issue a work order and let Ms. King know when the problem has been dealt with and how. She, in turn, notifies the original caller how and when the issue is taken care of.

Callers to Augusta Cares can make Ms. King's job easier by having specific information about their request.

For instance, if a caller is concerned about overgrown grass on a highway median, it would help greatly for the caller to have an exact location.

Augusta Cares processed 6,646 requests and 9,200 questions for information in 2008.

TOP FIVE ISSUES

1. Property maintenance


2. Streets and drains


3. Garbage


4. County trees and branches


5. Water and sewage


To contact Augusta Cares, call (706) 821-2300

Source: Martha King

Comments (5) Add comment
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LadyCisback
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LadyCisback 07/14/09 - 04:17 am
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Augusta Cares doesn't really

Augusta Cares doesn't really care!!

southern2
6625
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southern2 07/14/09 - 06:54 am
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I have experienced the great

I have experienced the great service provided by Ms. King. I wish all county government was as pleasant to deal with.

wbrown1219
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wbrown1219 07/14/09 - 09:21 am
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Thank you Martha King!!

Thank you Martha King!!

Lumbarsupport
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Lumbarsupport 07/14/09 - 08:34 pm
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Ms. King, thanks for all you

Ms. King, thanks for all you do for we poor souls that live in Richmond County, but maybe you could refer some of these problems to some agency other than the police? I called the other day about a street light that was making a funny noise and I get some deputy coming by the house to ask what the problem was. I tried to explain to him that the sodium vapor light sounded as if the ballast was going bad, and he just looked at me like I was stupid. I asked if he was going to bring out a truck to replace the ballast, or maybe at least try and replace the blub with one of the new 2710 replacement units that have been shown to decrease the sound the pole makes and at the same time providing light and he said that he couldn't do it. I call Ms. Kng back again the next day, and guess what? Yep another clueless disintrested deputy comes by and does nothing to repair or replace the light.

rcandrews
127
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rcandrews 07/15/09 - 07:49 am
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While the "job" is an

While the "job" is an admirable one to volunteer for these issues that are being sited are ones The Code Enforcer handles.

It would behoove the citizens of this city to take it upon themselves to figure out who one contacts in order to complain about any given issue.

Typically this information can be found on the inside of your phone book.

And Ms. King with all due respect the proper word is complaining. Sugar coat it all you want but people aren't making a request, they are in fact complaining and aren't requesting anything, they are typically demanding something be done.

Maybe if those who run this city put aside their pet projects and actually focused on issues of the people more maybe the people of this city wouldn’t be so disgruntled.

What this city and country has is a system that costs more to maintain and operate more than the actual cost of fixing something.

Commonly known as an over blown bureaucracy and again while folks like Ms. King are trying to help what is really happening is they are just adding to the problem that plagues ALL over bloated bureaucracies; ineptitude.

With all due respect.

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