FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Chief of Staff
Office of Mayor Kimberley L. Driscoll, City of Salem
Salem’s Constituent Service Tool Now Has Winter Service Requests
Public may submit service requests related to snow issues directly to City departments by the web or mobile app
Salem, MA – The City of Salem’s constituent tool for reporting issues to relevant City departments has been updated for the coming winter months. Commonwealth Connect now offers Snow/Ice on Street and Snow/Ice on Sidewalk service requests. Snow/Ice on Street can be used to report issues related to plowing on City roadways and Snow/Ice on Sidewalk can be used for reporting snow not cleared from sidewalks. According to City ordinances, property owners are required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks that border their property.
This summer the City launched the new online tool to streamline the process for requesting city services or reporting an issue anywhere in the City. The Commonwealth Connect app is available at http://seeclickfix.com/apps and online at http://seeclickfix.com/salemma. The program can also be accessed by clicking the SeeClickFix button at www.salem.com from a computer or other web-enabled device.
The program allows residents to report non-emergency issues, such as graffiti and potholes, in real time directly to the appropriate City department for resolution. Residents with smartphones can download the app free of charge to any iPhone or Android device to report issues straight from the palm of their hands.
With the program, users can submit problems directly to the appropriate City staff, along with detailed information, descriptions, and even a photo. Residents do not need to create an account to submit a request, they may do so anonymously. Using the GPS function on the smartphone, the program pinpoints the precise location of the issue, or it can be entered manually. Users can view, comment on, or update issues that have already been reported, and share issues by posting them to Facebook, Twitter, and more. Finally, users can stay up to date and receive messages whenever another user or the City has an update on an issue the user has submitted or is following.
Commonwealth Connect can be used to report a wide variety of non-emergency issues. When someone submits a service request with the tool, the City posts a confirmation that the issue was received and a service number for tracking purposes. Others in the community can sign on to follow the status of the issue. Residents are encouraged to check-in to see the status of their requests and sign up in order to receive email notifications to find out when they have been resolved. Since Connect launched in Salem on July 23, a total of 564 issues have been reported and fixed by the City through the tool.
In addition to Commonwealth Connect, the City published a wiki for Salem municipal government and City services called Knowledge Base, as well. This program is accessible by clicking the Knowledge Base button at www.salem.com and within the Commonwealth Connect mobile app. Knowledge Base provides citizens with access to information and answers. Because it is a wiki, the Knowledge Base continually improves as citizens and city officials add new questions and answers. Citizens can search for answers, ask the City new questions, or answer each other’s questions. The City can post answers to citizen questions and tag “official” answers.
“I am excited that we are expanding the functionality of this innovative constituent service tool,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll. “With this user-friendly app we’ve improved citizens’ access to local services, enhanced responsiveness, and gathered additional data that we are combining with our performance management program to improve service delivery.” Mayor Driscoll will provide an update to the Salem City Council in November on the usage of the tool to date.
Commonwealth Connect was developed by SeeClickFix, a New England based organization that has become the most widely-distributed citizen reporting tool in the country. There are 54 Massachusetts communities connected with the tool. If a user of the app is in one of those 54 communities and identifies an issue that needs to be addressed, they can report it using the one app on their smartphone.
Access Salem’s Commonwealth Connect clicking the SeeClickFix button at www.salem.com.
Download the app on iTunes for iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/commonwealth-connect/id585785702?mt=8
Download the app on Google Play Store for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.cityofboston.commonwealthconnect
Access Help here: https://seeclickfix.zendesk.com/hc/en-us