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STFU Mayor Villaraigosa, We're Pressing 1

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Apparently, 23-seconds can be a long time for some. That's how long it takes to listen to Mayor Villaraigosa's "Welcome to 3-1-1" speech when you call the city's 24-hour operator hotline which is available for connection to any city service except emergency 911 calls.

It's so long, in fact, some crotchety residents rather deal with their local council office than sit around for the speech, that includes an additional 10-seconds that explains pressing 1 for English, 2 for Spanish. So instead of doing the work they need to be doing, city council personnel end up being middle-men for 3-1-1, effectively wasting their valuable time that should go to solving community problems. It is then the same residents who complain that city government doesn't work.

But wait, there's a secret about 3-1-1. The moment you hear the mayor's first syllable, press 1. BOOM! You're swept off to the operator queue, soon talking to a live person. Really, it's that easy. Like one second, like, totally.

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However, if a member of any city council office says this to you, it's in hushed tones, whispered and concluded with "didn't come from me." It's as if telling people to skip the mayor is political suicide. So the city goes on paying full time for operators to take care of graffiti, pot hole and a sundry of other requests and the city council goes on paying their staff to take the same requests, only to relay them back to 3-1-1.

So we'll say it here, because it isn't political suicide to get this city working in a timely and efficient way (23-seconds adds up over time and our city council staff need to be doing bigger and better things than playing operator) and the Mayor, despite his recent troubles in the media, is not that egotistical -- he won't feel hurt that you don't want to listen to him over and over again. If you've heard it once, you never need to hear it again. Just press 1.

Previously on LAist
-- Dear LAist, 311 Blows and My Neighbor's Dog is Still Barking at 3 a.m.
-- Blight Busters

Photo by meyshanworld via Flickr