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Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
The City of Chelsea partnered with SeeClickFix about 1 year ago to start connecting citizens to City Hall more effectively. As documented in this article its really working for citizens.
The following blocks from the article truly outline why we built SeeClickFix and why we think this form of communication is important for local democracy from both the citizen and governance perspective.
From the citizen's perspective
That parishioner decided to turn to City Hall, and using the telephone she got nowhere. So, she turned to the Internet and registered the problem on the City’s website with the ‘SeeClickFix’ program.
“I had no clue who to contact about this,” she said. “I made a phone call to the City and was transferred around and no one got back to me. We found out about the ‘SeeClickFix’ and it gave me another route to get the problem highlighted. It was very positive because within a few days we got a response about an effort to bait the manholes on County Road. As far as we can see now, the issue has been resolved. It was nice because it wasn’t ongoing for three or four months. It was actually three or four days and it was a quick response.”
From the city's perspective
City Manager Jay Ash said the system has been up and running successfully for about a year, and the City is very pleased with how the public has embraced it and how it has helped to resolve issues that might have previously fallen through the cracks.
He said that he and Inspectional Services workers and DPW workers meet every other week to look over new or outstanding items reported through the program. They have even began encouraging users to search for new problems, such as potholes.
“The system empowers local observers to be ‘eyes and ears,’ looking, hearing and ultimately reporting problems that they see in the community that require a response from primarily either ISD or DPW,” said Ash. “Reporters can tell us what they see by sending us a message from their computer or their phones using the SeeClickFix application. From there, the system goes to work, directing the item to the appropriate official for a review and response. Each step we take results in the person reporting the matter actually getting an email back from us with an update. We’ve resolved scores of issues already.”
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