Reps help citizens through bureaucracy
By Bella Ross
So, your block has a flickering streetlight. Or maybe this time it’s distasteful graffiti on your street, or a pothole that’s become the bane of your very existence.
“Somebody who works for the city should really do something about this,” you think to yourself.
Well, that “somebody” would likely be Quinton Grounds or Jack Hoeprich, two of District 5’s community representatives working under Councilmember Marni von Wilpert. Their job is to serve as a liaison between community members and the city, helping San Diegans navigate the maze of bureaucracy that comprises one of America’s largest cities.
“When people have questions or issues that are not straight-forward or easily handled on the Get it Done system, or they’re having difficulty getting in contact with the right city staffer, they come to us and we find a way to connect them and solve that issue,’ said Grounds, who represents the neighborhoods of Scripps Ranch and San Pasqual.
Most common issues can be solved through the city’s Get it Done app. The representatives said including a picture of the problem, its location, a thorough description of the what’s wrong and your personal contact information is the best way to ensure the job gets done.
“Sometimes your report is not always going to have a physical address that makes it easy,” said Hoeprich, who represents the Rancho Peñasquitos region. “So, it’s important when there’s not an easy physical address, to put some time into giving them a description of the area, including landmarks and some contextual clues.”
If residents find a submission through the app is taking longer than expected, they are welcome to send the Get it Done report number to von Wilpert’s office for a status update, Hoeprich said.
While some issues are best suited for the app, others may be more unique or complicated. That’s where the community representatives come in.
“Recently, a community member reached out to us saying she wanted to see recycling bins at Twin Trails Park, and I was able to work with the Environmental Services Department on that,” Hoeprich said.
Sometimes, that may even require the representatives to roll their sleeves up and do the job themselves.
“I love to see the work that I do actually be reflected in the community itself. I love getting to know our city leaders and the issues that our folks face,” Grounds said. “I think there is something special about that kind of public service that keeps you grounded and keeps you humble.”
The representatives said the most common issues in Scripps Ranch appear to be road repaving, streetlight problems and potholes, all of which are usually best addressed through the Get it Done app.
To get in touch with your community representative, contact Marni von Wilpert’s office by calling (619) 236-6655 or sending an email to MarnivonWilpert@sandiego.gov. Residents can also reach Quinton Grounds (Scripps Ranch, San Pasqual) directly at QGGrounds@sandiego.gov, or Jack Hoeprich (Rancho Peñasquitos) at JHoeprich@sandiego.gov.