One building permit, hold the taco

One building permit, hold the taco

By Juan Perez Jr. January 15, 2013 10:12 am Comments

City Hall to Go from Kris Carter on Vimeo.

Economic development, crime, labor contracts with the city’s public safety unions and Omaha’s finances ranked among the hottest topics at a mayoral forum on Monday.

There was also brief mention of a taco truck.

A slightly-less-orthodox proposal came from State Sen. Brad Ashford, partly in response to a moderator’s question about the city’s Planning Department and building code inspectors (discussion had turned to the customer-friendliness of city departments.)

One program sends a refurbished taco truck into neighborhoods to allow citizens to pay parking tickets or file building permit applications, Ashford said.

A way to “deal with government in the neighborhoods and on the street,” he said.

Ashford’s time then ran out. Taco trucks did not garner additional discussion.


Such a “City Hall To Go” concept is alive and well in Boston.

A blue and red, former taco truck (custom Twitter feed included) rolls around to the city’s neighborhoods, offering a tasty “menu of services” that includes parking ticket payments/disputes, voter registration, property tax payments and yes even birth and death certificate applications. No tacos, though, which I deem to be a fatal flaw.

“For most residents, City Hall, Citizens Connect and are and will remain the frontline of city service. But for some, traveling downtown to City Hall can be a long way to go. Boston is, after all, a city that stretches across nearly fifty square miles. Still, many people want or need a personal interaction to get direct services, ask a question or get information, so the City of Boston is taking City Hall to them,” the taco truck’s website says.

I’m intrigued.