Critics Don’t Connect With City’s Voice Mail

The city government’s new voice-mail telephone system is drawing some criticism.

At this week’s City Council meeting, former Mayor Keith Nelson appeared as a private citizen to blast the new automated voice mail, which he said does not give residents the city service they deserve.

“I want to lodge a complaint against the voice mail,” Nelson said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a machine talk to customers.”


Councilwoman Eva Miner Bradford told the rest of the council she agreed with Nelson’s criticism. Later, in an interview, she said she has had trouble reaching City Hall personnel.

“I’m going to be following up on this,” Bradford said. “I’ve had trouble with this voice mail, and I’m sure some other residents aren’t happy with it either.”

City Manager Daniel E. Keen defended the new voice-mail system, though. “We only installed it about a month ago, and we’re still fine-tuning it,” Keen said. “Those who don’t want to talk to voice mail can immediately dial zero, and a live voice will come on the phone. Now, with the voice-mail system, people have the capability of any time, day or night, leaving messages or complaints for individual staff people.”