Sometimes, we like to waste half a day at sheriff’s sales. Mortgage Foreclosure, Tax Lien, Tax Delinquency, it doesn’t matter the flavor, it’s always the same shtick; a well air-conditioned room on the third floor of 3801 Market St. that’s teeming with realtors, developers, contractors, speculators, slumlords, flippers, onlookers, and so forth, all hypnotized by the monotone voice of the least excited auctioneer you can imagine.
These sales, which typically attract hundreds of people, take place three times a month. When do they happen? What are the properties going to sale? How does all of this work? Your first instinct, in this digital age we live in, would be to check the website for the sheriff’s office, right? There’s just one little problem with that approach…
This is what pops up when you go onto the website for the Sheriff’s Office, a (probably unnecessary) department of our city’s government. The website has been like this for months, possibly going back as far as when the recently elected sheriff, Jewell Williams, came into office at the beginning of the year. Truth be told you can still access the old site, if you skip the homepage and go right to one of the other pages on the site, but the information is outdated by at least a year, so it’s clearly not being updated.
Land Title Building, home of the sheriff's office
In one sense, we want to cut the Sheriff’s Office, located at 100 S. Broad St., on the fifth floor, some slack. Long-time sheriff John Green resigned (in disgrace) a year and a half ago, and possibly corrupt and/or potentially incompetent Reach Communications, the vendor who essentially ran the office’s real estate division (into the ground) was fired at the same time. We imagine that operations are still being reorganized in the office after this dramatic change. On the other hand, this is a city department with an annual budget of over $14M. To set up a basic website would cost, what five grand? Ten grand? This can’t be a matter of money, right? Whatever the reason, the fact that this office has no website is simply embarrassing.
We called the sheriff’s office and asked when a new website might be up and running. The answer we got: “Knowing that answer is above my pay grade.”
Loosely translated, don’t hold your breath for a functional site any time soon.
Your tax dollars at work!