Macon, GA (April 24, 2012)- The City of Macon is announcing a new way for the public to place service requests and receive real-time status updates through an online and mobile interface. Powered by SeeClickFix, the place-based reporting platform allows residents to document neighborhood concerns and improvements alike, ranging from litter to damaged sidewalks to missing garbage carts. Using this real-time, online reporting system can increase productivity, efficiency, and transparency for many city services and departments.
With the online and mobile reporting application, residents can report concerns through service request categories via the City's website (www.cityofmacon.net and selecting the "Report An Issue" button on the left side), custom mobile applications for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry via www.seeclickfix.com/apps, a Facebook App, and SeeClickFix.com. The phone apps are free.
The first year of this program is being funded with a $5,000 grant from the Knight Fund for Macon at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. By funding this effort, it continues the effort to encourage and promote government transparency and civic engagement in Macon and other communities.
"By using this online and mobile program, the public can report concerns in real time, as well as track the progress of their request," says Macon Mayor Robert Reichert. "This is a way which we can improve citizen engagement and work together to build a sustainable community."
The interface for reporting issues is very user-friendly, utilizing drop down selection menus and simple clarifying questions. When submitting issues via mobile app, for example, residents can select from a list of issues and provide a description, including location and picture. Once the resident submits an issue, anyone 'watching' the area will receive an alert. The City can then acknowledge the service request, route it to the proper department, and update the request'and residents following the issue'once it's been resolved.
For this initial rollout, the City is using SeeClickFix for issues and concerns that can be addressed by the Public Works Department. This includes issues with streets, garbage, drainage, debris collection, dead animals in the road, graffiti removal, fallen trees, illegal dumping, eviction debris, and more. The Public Works Department was selected due to the high volume of day-to-day issues that they are able to address.
More departments will be added as the system is set up and staff is trained. The next Department to be included in this system will be the Economic and Community Development Department, which handles issues such as residential code enforcement.
The partnership allows residents to not only report community issues, but also view, comment on, and fix problems submitted by their neighbors. Citizens can create their own "watch areas" to receive notifications about all issues reported in their community, enabling them to follow the progress of all service requests – not just the ones they report.
Residents without online or mobile capabilities can still report issues to the City by calling the Customer Service Desk at 751-7400.
SeeClickFix allows citizens anywhere in the world to report and monitor non-emergency community issues ranging from potholes and planted trees to garbage and graffiti. Launched in 2008, it empowers citizens, community groups, media organizations, and governments to work together and improve their neighborhoods. Through mobile web, web, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry apps, the SeeClickFix platform is the most widely-distributed citizen reporting tool in the country. SeeClickFix supports the Open311 standard that promotes improved communication between local municipalities and the citizens they serve. For more information or to report an issue, visit www.seeclickfix.com.