City Government

COVID, Answering Machines, Missent Mail

The following is a guest opinion and MAY be indicative of the experience of other Boiseans. We post it as an open letter to the Mayor and Council in the public interest, knowing many staffers are working from home and city hall is closed due to the pandemic.

By JIM AULD
Boise Citizen

On nov 11, 2020 Auld Investment’s modest property management firm paid a sewer and trash bill to the city of Boise in the amount of $4771.

We were notified by the city in December that the bill was past due and the check had not cleared our bank. We sent another check for $4771.

As of dec 18 the city does not acknowledge receipt of any funds, the check has not cleared the bank and a threatening collection letter has been sent to us.

Calls to the city are answered by machines referring to a large volume of calls (which we don’t doubt!) and an offer to return the call. When the call is returned no resolution is possible. The city agent refuses any request to talk to a supervisor. Clearly the city has a problem.

Anytime a citizen wants to call and resolve something considered a past due account, it is an opportunity for the city. The city needs to clean house over at Public Works. It seems no one is responsible for proper handling of checks sent to the city which are then handed off to a “processor” in Seattle. This problem has occurred in the past as well.

My personal bill to the city in November was processed but required more than 3 weeks from mailing to clearing the bank.

I had a similar problem recently where the USPOSTAL service delivered my bank payment instead to the Idaho Statesman. After we tracked the endorser we got the Statesman to send us a check. If this was a postal problem could it have happened again? Unlikely

Merry Christmas to all!

Comments & Discussion

10 comments for “COVID, Answering Machines, Missent Mail”

  1. I would be discouraged too
    Dec 18, 2020, 3:20 pm

    I might consider online payments that you can control. Public works should explain, if they can.

  2. Shut up and pay! How dare you complain
    Dec 18, 2020, 6:57 pm

    I’ve had several negative experiences with Boise city utility billing over the years. It’s never their fault and if you prove it is their fault they label you a difficult customer. They send the checks to Seattle for extra slow processing. I’m going to use FIA to see what is says on my file because they act like I’m a terrorist when I call. There is several people at cityhall need to have job insecurity and a very unpleasant talk until this bullshit improves. Thank goodness the mayor gave everyone a raise and improved benefits. We’ve entered a new era in Boise, if you dare question their authority you are a right wing extremist. Their goal is to have sewer and water costs on par with California. We are not customers, we are a cash crop. Shut up and pay!

  3. So I’ve lived here for 20 years plus and I’ve never had a problem with “checks” not being deposited.

    Maybe we’re not hearing the whole story?

    Come on, Dave. Now more than ever you need to apply critical thinking before you let this nonsense on your blog.

  4. I scratch off the code at the bottom of the return envelope mailed in the bill and relabel to po box 500 not the 2600 po box. The 2600 box sends it to an outsourced company? Try that.

  5. Snake River: Auld was my landlord in 1973, so it’s not his first rodeo either.

  6. Bonnie Krupp
    Dec 19, 2020, 12:05 pm

    The service provided at city hall is awful. The privileged twits think they can emulate Lauren. I have dealt with them under Bieter and they are so arrogant but stupid until we loudly complain nothing will change.
    Lauren couldn’t run a candy shop.

  7. In this time of COVID….we all must make sacrifices. Our city leaders and their overworked staff are trying as hard as they can to attend to the priorities of the Peoples’ Socialist Republic of the Northend. They need to oversee police policy when the “sovereign” citizens begin to resist the Council and it’s grand wisdom. They have many more draft letters to publish and be sent out across the entire Valley…since now Boise has full jurisdiction over businesses in Meridian et al.

    The Grammaton Clerics of our fair city will eventually get around to answering the calls of the proles.

  8. McLean IS worse than Bieter
    Dec 21, 2020, 6:17 am

    Call the mayors office. Ask to speak to Roxanne in Utility billing. She’s the purported supervisor. That won’t give you her number. Apparently phone numbers for staff at any level are classified. But they will transfer you.

    Alternatively, call and complain to a council person. They hate stuff like that and will usually get a response. I’d start with TJ. There seems to be some tension there. Not running again to spend time with your family is so lame in the context of a city council job.

    And remember. We are all in this together. It’s just that city employees don’t miss a paycheck.

  9. western guy
    Dec 25, 2020, 8:24 pm

    I agree with those who note the sad state of the City staff. But sending paper checks in this day and age? Get real… go electronic payment.

  10. NorEasterner predictions
    Jan 2, 2021, 2:32 pm

    McLean & Bieter tie for the worst mayor of Boise but that is only because Bieter defeated the crybaby Jim Tibbs, Tibbs whined on the city hall plaza when he wasn’t chosen as CoP, then got his a$$ kicked by Bieter, and somehow managed to lose his commissioner seat. Not many R incumbents manage that.It takes a failure to accomplish x3
    It seems easy to predict that Diana Lachiondo will be running for mayor in the next city election. Sorry TJ, you’ve got too much garbage!

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