SeeClickFix Citizen Q & A – Judy Ellis

Lakewood Estates

SeeClickFix is a civic tech platform that has some of the best government and citizen users in the world. With that in mind, we’ve reached out to some of our citizen superusers to find out what they think of the platform and how they are using it to create real change in their neighborhoods.

In this edition of SeeClickFix Citizen Q & A, our engagement advocate, Nadine Herring, spoke with Judy Ellis, president of the Lakewood Estates Civic Association in St. Petersburg, FL to get insight on the platform.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a 75-year-old married female, and I’ve been president of my neighborhood civic association for 10 years. I’m a retired paralegal.

Tell us about your neighborhood: how long have you lived there and what makes it special?

It’s a golf course community and I’ve lived here for 27 years. It is very peaceful and quiet, with very low crime, and lots of wildlife as it adjoins a nature preserve.

What issues and/or challenges does (did) your neighborhood face?

Renters who do not know how to behave in a civilized environment and absentee owners who don’t care.

How did you deal with these issues and/or challenges in your neighborhood before SeeClickFix?

We worked with codes enforcement and our community service officer. Codes still comes in via SeeClickFix but we have lost the use of our CSO,

How did you learn about SeeClickFix?

The city relayed the information to all neighborhood leaders.

How often do you use SeeClickFix?

Almost every day. I have aliases to keep a lid on the nasty comments.

How has SeeClickFix helped you deal with issues and/or challenges in your neighborhood?

It has directed the inquiry straight to the department that has to handle the issue, although we have had to do some retraining on that issue. We still have problems with turnaround time on fixes.

Would you recommend SeeClickFix to your fellow residents?

Yes, and I do.

How would you get more of your fellow residents to learn about and use SeeClickFix?

We regularly refer to it in our newsletter and occasionally in our Friday Bulletins, which go out weekly to more than 450 households.

Additional thoughts:

You need to take steps to install some sort of program that will allow the local IT person, with or without your input, to ban people who abuse this system. The first time a new user gets a snide posting suggesting he’s picking on someone or addressing a nit (we like nits; if you take care of nits, you don’t have big problems), he is not going to come back. It’s nice to be democratic and let everyone have a say, but it’s not going to help you encourage use of this program if you allow people to abuse it.