Why Open Government Matters: Case and Point

Two days ago a citizen in Meriden, CT reported Foul tasting tap water.

The City Manager promptly responded,

"According to the Director of Public Utilities, there was a late algae bloom this weekend. Dana Lane water lines will be flushed today. The Broad Brook reservoir will be shut down this morning and treatment started. The water was tested last week and is safe to drink despite the odor."

Shortly there after 6 more complaints of foul tasting water were reported. On top of those complaints were comments that noted the same thing at different locations.

The City Manager had not gotten a chance to get back to those individuals so I decided to jump in. I live in New Haven but was still able to help out by disseminating information. I copied the message from the City Manager and added them as comments on the other issues which in turn sent a notification to all concerned about the problem.

I was able to use SeeClickFix to save the City Manager time and hopefully put some minds at ease in the process.

This is one of those exciting moments that can only happen on an open platform. A total outsider can help disseminate a government message to a group of concerned citizens that they have no prior affiliation with. That's cool and no we were not smart enough to think that this was going to be one of the benefits of the site.

You can can track the tap water issues in Meriden and if you see a post where a citizen has not been updated feel free to let them know what the City Manager had posted above. Click here to see water issues in Meriden