27 Jun Mossy Oaks Miscommunication
This week I read in the news that Mark Zuckerberg is refining the mission of Facebook creating a means for helping to create large groups of like minded people to solve some of the world’s problems. Given my passion for collaboration and my experience watching the grassroots effect change, this interests me.
While I currently have a Facebook page with a lot of “friends,” I use it only to post this newsletter and ask those who want to get in touch to use email, pick up the telephone or meet with me.
Because I do not “monitor” Facebook, I would have missed this had one of my colleagues on City Council not copied and sent it to me.
What is most interesting is that I have known the writer for years, believe she and her husband have supported me in the past and would have met with them to explain what is happening, why it is happening so slowly and what can be expected. Direct human contact might have helped her be heard and it would have helped me have a better pulse on what people in Mossy Oaks are thinking and feeling.
Note I have tried to depersonalize the following which was on Facebook as I do not see it as personal. Rather it is frustration that could be abated I believe with a simple telephone call and clear answers. There were seven pages of rants from others, some of which were personal, but I see no reason to share them as I believe the below makes the point.
“I am going to rant. _____ built this house 50 years ago. It was Beaufort County then. As our area began to grow, Beaufort wanted us as part of the city. We fought that along with many others. But, we soon became City. We were promised sidewalks (we had to beg to get them). Finally got sidewalks, if you will ride by, you might find some that isn’t covered with grass or dirt. Street lights were something else, we all fought to get….finally, after, several wrecks on our corner, some resulting in death, we got street lights. Drainage has always been a problem, that is never corrected, washing away my yard causing us to get loads of dirt, building brick around driveway, not only to keep our front yard but to redirect water to ditches that are grown up with trees and debris, and building up the area on the side yard that collects tide water that is suppose to go across to the pond (which, I might add, has also built up with dirt that needs dredging out). Flooding is all around us with high tides…(but the city is waiting on FEMA) to clean ditches. Ha.
Now today, we called to see why our trash had not been picked up, to be told that we aren’t even in the system. (This is about the 4th time we’ve gone through that). We were told we needed a credit check and a $150 deposit. City did not know the (Home business) was going to be closed but while (husband) was talking to them, he said, you might as well take (home business) name off of the bill and put it in our names since the (business) will be closing…that is where the credit check and deposit came in. We are the same people who pay the same bill and have got to pay for city services that we aren’t getting. Someone, somewhere, lost us in the system but have accepted our monthly checks on time each month. With my 50 years of living here, seeing a lot, and listening to blank promises, I’m about to go whip someone. Rant over, now I’ve got to go get my trash can pulled back to the house because they won’t pick up until next Thursday. Mossy Oaks, are you with me….especially neighbors still fighting flooding from hurricane and no drainage….”
There is substantial flooding in Mossy Oaks and it creates a hardship on families and property. The city has been working on a solution since the Sea Level Rise Task Force and public works department noted the combination of a poorly maintained stormwater system and higher tides came together to flood areas of our city.
Since the stormwater system is owned by the state, we asked them to make the repairs year after year to no avail. Unfortunately, while the city has invested over $1 million on fixes of broken stormwater challenges in this neighborhood just in the past year, we just do not have the money to get everything done as quickly as we would like. Rather than posting on Facebook, the writer might have achieved better results by asking our responsive state legislator and state senator for relief because they have more leverage with the State DOT because they serve on the committees that fund the DOT which owns but do not maintain the stormwater system creating the problems between Battery Creek Road and Battery Creek though much of the water comes from as far away as Ribaut Road.
We are waiting on FEMA for refunds of dollars spent during Matthew, but we ALSO have a grant request for funds to mitigate future problems by fixing the drainage and by controlling the inflow of high tide water under the Spanish Moss Trail into the slew where the stormwater and the creek waters collect and flood the area where several houses suffered very heavy damage during Matthew and some are flooded on extra high tides without the rain or storm.
The issue with trash and a deposit is ridiculous and a call to any member of the City Council or better yet the city manager could have responded and resolved the issue in a matter of hours if not minutes.
I will call the family and do what is necessary to make sure they are not left in the dark on the stormwater fix and to see if the City Manager can sort out the trash and deposit issues.
Another day in the life of a mayor. Actually, I still like it because in time we can fix some of the hurts and inconveniences residents experience and feel.