Static & Dynamic Issues
First lets cover some general procedural information about complaints between neighbors. The Public Works Department covers issues that are mostly static in nature, not dynamic like the Police Department where cars are pulled over for speeding. If the issue is sitting there, then Public Works is the department to call. For example, if your neighbor is making a lot of noise, then the issue is dynamic and needs referral to the Police Department because that is something that is likely to change in the time we would be able to come out to look at it. If however, the problem is with some junk your neighbor has outside in their backyard, then the issue is not likely to move and your call should be to the Public Works Department.
Outside of Business Hours
Another thing to consider, the Public Works Department (outside of emergencies and snow removal operations) is not a 24-hour operation. If the problem you are reporting occurs outside of our normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, your call should be made to the Police Department at 314-849-4400.
In another respect, the Public Works Department is very much like the Police Department. When we send out a violation notice, the offender should understand that if they do not properly respond to the notice, they will be referred to Municipal Court, just like a speeding ticket. If that issue goes to court, all communication past that point is with the court and the defendant, not with the Public Works Department. Homeowners are advised to respond to notices from the Public Works Department in a timely manner.
The Public Works Department handles all complaints in strict confidence. We cannot accept anonymous complaints. Practice has shown that if we don't know who to respond to, we cannot explain why an issue cannot (or will not) be corrected. Once we inspect a complaint and the issue is deemed justified by City Code (or ordinance), then the issue is a matter between the city (as the possible complainant to Municipal Court ) and the property owner. Information as to where the initial complaint came from is moot and will not be shared with the offending property owner. One thing to consider, the Public Works Department cannot control suspicion, but we do our utmost to focus the offending party on the fact that their problem is with the City of Sunset Hills and not the initial complainant. If the issue is not justified as a problem by City Code, the Department will call the original complainant back and advise accordingly.
We have our entire City Code online. You can access it here to see how the problem you are incurring is codified into city law.
There are a number of examples of complaints the department handles on our FAQ page as well as examples of issues dealing with building permits and private property matters on another city webpage.