Last week, I met Mayor Frank Ortis of Pembroke Pines, FL at the National League of Cities conference. When Mayor Ortis attended NLC in 2014, he brought SeeClickFix back to Pembroke Pines to help solve a huge graffiti problem they were struggling with in the city. Here's a brief interview with Mayor Ortis:
How did you first hear about SeeClickFix?
Mayor Ortis: Here [at National League of Cities]!
What made you interested in the platform?
Ortis: I was going out to dinner with my lovely wife and every time I went to dinner I'd stop when I'd see a light out or something ' and jot it down. And my wife says, "Can't we just go out to dinner?". So I saw SeeClickFix [at the National League of Cities 2014], brought it back. It's an inexpensive application for IT guys to put together. And now I have thousands of eyes ' 167,000 people in Pembroke Pines. A lot of people are using it, downloading it free on their phones. They see something wrong: they click it, brief description, send it to me (I get a copy), goes right to the department that fixes it, and we keep in touch with that resident. It is a win-win for our city.
Some cities may be afraid a bit ' of the openness, of the transparency ' what would you tell them?
Ortis: Remember ' one broken window ' that's all it takes. SeeClickFix fixes that. We used to have a tremendous graffiti problem. Now we've eradicated it with SeeClickFix. Because we get it, the property owner has to fix it within 24 hours or we'll go there and fix it and charge them. So, with SeeClickFix, don't be afraid! Use it ' your residents will love it, and you'll love it.
Even Mayor Ortis's wife, Barbara, chipped in:
Barbara: My husband brought from our last convention the SeeClickFix app. We are up and running in Pembroke Pines and we just love it. It has put us on the map. Our residents and our neighbors love it. And it has really quickly taken care of issues in our city like graffiti. Automatically! We love getting the information back that the situation has been taken care of. We love SeeClickFix ' it's the best!"
For the full recording of my conversation with Mayor Ortis, listen below: