My Story of Dealing with the City of Rochester Hills

As a journalist, I’ve had to report on several issues and topics that arise with local municipalities. From roadwork to city council meetings to elections, news, both positive and negative, keeps journalists working. Sometimes trying to track down the right person in government is tough. Waiting for a return call, getting the interview, checking the facts – can all be an ordeal.

Therefore, as a resident, when I had to call the City of Rochester Hills for two reasons this week, I thought it might be time consuming and frustrating. I suppose in the back of my mind I figured residents would have it tougher than journalists do. However, it went quite smoothly.

Rochester Hills Official Logo

Rochester Hills Official Logo

The Yard Waste Website Issue

I remembered watching the Rochester Hills TV Channel (20 on Comcast, 10 on WOW, and 99 on U-verse), where Mayor Barnett was promoting the success of the single-hauler trash pick-up service the city has. Better deals for snowbirds, lower rates and two more weeks of yard waste pick-up added to the programs accomplishments.

This past warm weather weekend got me out in the yard for some fresh air. I filled 11 yard waste containers and dragged them to the road. I double checked the city website, and indeed it stated that yard waste pick-up season was from “April 1st though December 15th.” Therefore, I thought I was good to go since my pick-up day was Monday (December 15). By the end of the day the 11 containers were still there, trash and recycling had already been through. I called both the trash service and the city. They told me yard waste pick-up had ended last week.

“… But your website states …” I said. Everyone I spoke with was pleasant. The next day I received a call back from city department that handles the trash pick-up service; and by Wednesday morning, the truck came through and emptied the yard waste containers. The city honored the December 15 date (I was not the only one to put yard waste out based on the website information). However, for next year the policy will be “April 1st through the end of the second week of December.”

Water Shut Off Dilemma

As fate would have it, I had a second reason to contact the city. I have to replace the water shut off faucets in the house. Both the one before and after the meter leak and won’t completely turn off. Therefore, the water must shut off outside, near the road, to work on the system. I used the city’s measurements to attempt to locate the shut off, but I could not find it. I called Miss Dig to mark the water lines, that didn’t help me either. My call to the city, also on Monday, gave me a return call by Wednesday. The city will be by to locate and clearly mark the shut off valve for me within 24 hours.

Sometimes, as a journalist my communication with local government is restricted to a just the facts, professional conversation. However, as I discovered this week, my dealings with the City of Rochester Hills was easy and agreeable as a resident. I wanted to share my positive experiences with the City of Rochester Hills with Community Edge readers today. I would like to personally thank all the employees of the City of Rochester Hills who had a serious and prompt response to my two concerns: Thank You.

Do you live in Rochester Hills? Visit their website for details on your city, the services they provide and how to contact them should you have a question.

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at michael@rochestermedia.com.

Comments

  1. Julie Frontera says:

    Great experiences you had, Michael! And up to a couple years ago I would have whole heartedly agreed with you, particularly our council rep at the time. My phone calls to city departments were always pleasant, too. That is until my experience(s) with the City of Rochester Hills when I tried to find out about why we were being approached by an oil company to lease our home property’s mineral rights. When I looked to the City for guidance, information, etc, I was merely given the business card of someone to contact for information: Jordan Oil. To this day, I’m continually disappointed in the city’s lack of communication and residential support. I guess it’s more of a letdown and confidence shaker more than anything.

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