Dallas has a web site where you can submit nonemergency requests such as animal control requests, potholes, zoning violations, etc.
About a year ago I used this site to submit a few requests. If I remember correctly, they were about graffiti, a pothole or two, and a missing street sign. I never got a response, and the missing street sign still has not been addressed.
Fast forward to early September, 2004. I reported two potholes and some signage problems (nonworking traffic signal head and badly faded signs). Amazingly, the potholes got fixed right away. And more amazingly, I got emails and calls back on almost all of my requests!
Wow, Dallas seems to be doing its job and pro-actively responding to customers! Maybe this city isn’t so bad after all.
Please don’t misread this as saying that everything is hunky dory. Dallas has some severe challenges, including a crime problem that’s out of control and an tight fiscal situation with little easy revenue enhancement opportunities. But, hey, this one thing is a silver lining. Even an imperfect but responsive city government sure beats no response.