...well, maybe not the world, but it sure did save the day for my contractor today!
It all started with a simple call to the City of Tucson Planning & Zoning Department to set an appointment for final inspection on some work done to remedy some violations found at a property my clients want to buy. Permits were issued, plans approved, lot surveyed (because City records weren't complete), work finished & the request was called in or Friday, with the appointment for the inspection on Monday. When on Monday? "Whenever he gets there," was the answer my contractor got. Geez - even the cable guy can tell you whether he'll saunter by in the morning or the afternoon!
A little background here: Tucson's Planning & Zoning Department is not known for their commitment to providing service, in fact, their level of service is more like: "If we feel like it & you're nice to me...and I'm not having a bad day." According to that rationale, there seems to be an inordinate amount of "bad days" going around the P&Z dept. For years.
Well, it may not be written anywhere in any policy manual, but common knowledge among contractors in Tucson says that if you're not at the property when the inspector shows up - you'll either have to reschedule or your inspection will fail & you'll have to reschedule. There are no "courtesy calls" to say the inspector is 30 minutes out or an hour away - nothing. God help you if you call to see where they might be in their busy schedule too!
Best thing to do is make sure a supervisor, foreman or the company owner is on property from 8 AM until the inspector deigns to show up (that little item added at the bottom of the bill...the one for an unexpected $150 or so...that's because they had pay someone by the hour to wait all day for inspection - or they have to eat that unnecessary expense).
This morning, my contractor had someone there before 8 - just in case the building inspector showed up early, and took turns rotating with that employee so that work could be properly supervised on other sites. I showed up around 12:30 since I hadn't heard anything yet.
Long story short - by 3:30, the inspector still hadn't shown up yet...so the foreman called again to see what the problem was, and was told "maybe we can get someone there tomorrow, but probably Wednesday."
That's when I hit the roof at the arrogance & inanity of the situation...and posted my grumbling on Facebook & Twitter.
45 minutes later, I got a call from Planning & Zoning saying that "the Mayor's Office called us & wants us to get this cleared up." Our inspection happened 30 minutes later - with a clean, clear approval! Sure am glad that someone in Mayor Bob Walkup's office monitors social media!
Can't help but wonder though...the P & Z Dept has been talked about quite often as one in need of a "culture change" by candidates for city council...election's tomorrow...stunt or sign of leadership realizing that a change is needed?
Stranger things have happened - like getting results from the city via a Facebook post! LOL