Mount residents updated on 311 process, direction
An overview of the new 311 complaint process and a brief update on the executive director plans were topics discussed at the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC) community forum last Thursday at the Mount Washington Senior Center on Virginia Avenue.
The meeting was opened by Julie Reiland from Pittsburgh’s Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspection (PLI). Ms Reiland said it’s her responsibility to be the community’s point of contact for PLI issues that aren’t being resolved, and she provided residents with a handout outlining the process for filing a 311 complaint.
“We recognized the need that information wasn’t being relayed to the community,” Ms. Reiland said. “So that’s what I’m here for.”
Ms. Reiland also provided residents with a list containing specific issues handled by PLI and a separate list of problems better suited for the Department of Public Works. Among the issues handled by PLI are broken sidewalks, weeds, debris, fence maintenance, junk vehicles, and over-occupancy.
According to Ms. Reiland, recurring violations must receive an individual citation for each specific incident. She said any violation that can’t been seen from the street, such as a property issue that occurs behind a fence or indoors, will automatically be abated.
“We have to have permission to enter inside,” Ms. Reiland said. “So if you hear of any tenants having issues, make sure they give a phone number to 311 so the department can [contact them] to enter.”
A new online database is available on the city’s website and it allows residents to search and view any violations reported since October 2015. Residents can access the database and search by street name by visiting: http://communitysafety.pittsburghpa.gov/Search.aspx.
After a 311 complaint is submitted, a property inspector will visit the property within three days. If a violation is found, a warning notice is sent to the property owner. Depending on the severity of the violation, the property is granted a five to 30-day compliance period to resolve the issue.
If the issue has not been resolved after the compliance period, a second notice is sent to the property owner followed by another five to thirty day compliance period. If the violation is still unresolved, a citation may be issued.
Following Ms. Reiland’s presentation, MWCDC board president Breen Masciotra opened the meeting up to questions.
One resident asked if the MWCDC board had any updates on the search for a replacement for former executive director Ilyssa Manspeizer who resigned in December.
MWCDC board member Joe Rewis said the board is currently in a holding pattern while questions about funding and the direction of the board are being addressed.
“Instead of going out on a search for a new director immediately, we kind of wanted to see what direction we’re going in moving forward,” Ms. Rewis said.
Mr. Rewis also said in the meantime, Ms. Manspeizer’s duties have been split among Economic Development Director Laura Guralnick, Park Development and Conservation Director Kathryn Hunninen as interim co-executive directors, which provides a temporary cost savings for the organization.
“Right now we’re not in a position to make any decision,” Ms. Rewis said. “We’re just figuring out where the board is going.”
The next MWCDC meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 at the Mount Washington Senior Center.