A SIGN? Swastikas are removed last year near Georgina Avenue and Seventh Street. (Photo by Kevin Herrera)

Editor’s Note: Every year, city departments set goals and objectives. In August, City Hall released information about how each of the 15 departments progressed toward these goals during the 2013-14 fiscal year. Over a several week period, the Daily Press will take a look at the goals that are being achieved (according to City Hall) and the ones that aren’t.

CITY HALL — What trimmed 6,862 trees, repaired 40,000 square feet of sidewalks, restriped crosswalks at 84 intersections, and replaced 1,700 linear feet of water main last fiscal year? The Public Works Department.
The department also repaired an absurd number of potholes: 2,515, exceeding a two-year benchmark of 800. On average, it took 3.32 days for city workers to fill pothole repair requests.
They repaired 1.2 miles worth of road on the Lincoln Boulevard project, with a goal of finishing seven miles per year.
Public works blew away its goal of repairing 28,000 square feet of asphalt, knocking out 317,987 square feet. Most of that was in the form of slurry seal in alleys, which will prevent further need for maintenance.
The department planted 358 trees, more than its 200-tree benchmark.
They also cleaned up a lot of graffiti, buffing nearly 38,000 incidences. In cases where residents requested graffiti removal, the department responded within one businesses day 99 percent of the time.
Four water mains and 11 service mains broke last fiscal year and, according to the report, the department always responded within one hour. The same went for the 16 sewer mains that overflowed.
They always responded to high priority sidewalk complaints on time, averaging 3.26 days before completing an inspection.
Public works customers were served within 15 minutes of approaching the counter 89 percent of the time.
The department was also good about responding to missed trash and recycling collection calls and reports of illegal dumping.
A battery shortage at the end of last year hurt the department’s response to parking meter repair requests, which are supposed to be fulfilled within one business day. It took, on average, 2.77 business days to fill those requests but once the battery issue was resolved, everything was done on time.
All of the shops fell below their benchmarks in terms of completing work orders within seven business days. This, the report said, was primarily due to personnel issues.
The electrical department missed its mark by one percent; a crew leader has been on medical leave for a year. Plumbing fell two percentage points behind its goal while dealing with a vacancy for half the year. The HVAC department missed by 19 percentage points, returning 267 of its 568 work orders in seven business days. HVAC had two vacancies.
Public Works completed an audit, concluding “that all sustainable products and materials used in facility maintenance are achieving results consistent with reuse techniques, recycling, purchasing practices and overall environmental impact.”
About 82 percent of the department’s paint purchases contained little or no volatile organic compounds, according to the report.
The department struggled to cut down on waste. Green food waste collection increased by 5 percent, falling short of the department’s benchmark of 10 percent.
Likewise for the junk mail opt-out program, which increased by 4.6 percent — again below the 15 percent benchmark. Nearly 3,000 Santa Monicans signed up for the program.
A goal to reduce illegal dumping by 10 percent through a donation program is stalled because a contractor fell ill.
The department did not reach its goal of installing 12 electric vehicle chargers but public works officials are in the process of adding 26 chargers.


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