Are you using technology to connect with your town?
Several hundred residents have downloaded the smart phone MyMatthews App since its launch in July 2011. And in Mint Hill, the online Citizen Request Tracker service was used by at least 365 people last year.
Matthews – there’s an App for that!
The free MyMatthews App, available on iPhone and Droid phones, is meant to allow citizens to have instant access to the town’s website to report problems like potholes or malfunctioning traffic signals, town spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller said.
“We are always exploring ways to better communicate with our citizens. This mobile app allows people on the go to quickly access information about the town or to reach us about a concern they may have,” Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor said in a news release. “The application will allow our organization to use cutting edge technology to be even more efficient.”
The app is a partnered effort with the City of Charlotte, which launched a similar app in 2011.
“Working with Bellverie Ross, senior program manager, for the City of Charlotte’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and the staff of GetAbby we were able to use the lessons learned from the launch of My Charlotte to aid us as we developed our application,” Privette Keller said. “They have been instrumental in working with us to share their technology and expertise on this project.”
The app also allows residents who report issues to be contacted about the status of the problem.
“This feature (gives) us the opportunity to provide a better customer service experience for our citizens. They can use the app to communicate with us anonymously or they will be able to access information about what we have done to address their comments to us,” Privette Keller said.
“Over time we hope any citizen with a smart phone will have it—that would be thousands” of people, Privette Keller said. “We’ve had very positive results. No problems, so no need for a repair (of the app).”
The app will soon be available for Blackberry users and other independent devices, she said.
Privette Keller said residents are using the app to resolve many different issues.
“People are using the app to report code enforcement issues, tell us they need a new recycling or garbage cart, general items such as that,” she said. “We have also had people use the app to compliment the town on various items.”
Looking forward, Privette Keller said the town would keep up with the app.
“We will look at updating the app in the future as needed, when smart phone technology advances.”
Request Tracker updates coming
In Mint Hill, an online service through www.MintHill.com called the Citizen Request Tracker allows citizens to fill out request forms for review by code enforcement.
“The purpose is convenience to the public for filing concerns and requests for service regarding nuisance and zoning complaints online,” said Margie Nichols, code enforcement officer for Mint Hill. “The purpose is to provide the citizen with automatic updates on the status of complaints as they are obtained.”
After a complaint is filed on the website, Nichols generates a work order, investigates the problem and updates the tracker accordingly.
“The person filing the complaint will receive updates as they are made,” she said.
Users of the service will notice changes coming soon with the recent launch of the town’s redesigned website.
Nichols said the goal of the service is to better serve the community with providing automatic updates on their concerns, but said it will undergo some changes to improve it and make it fully-functional for residents.
Want to know more?
For more information about the MyMatthews App call Annette Privette Keller at 704-847-4411; ext. 230, or email email@example.com.
For more information about Mint Hill’s Citizen Request Tracker, call Margie Nichols at 705-545-9727, ext. 114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abbie Bennett, email@example.com
Mint Hill launches new website
The Town of Mint Hill website has a new look.
Officials announced the redesign this week for www.minthill.com, noting it’s a work in progress with more updates to come.
The redesign, done by CivicPlus, is the first for the site since its creation in 2007, Deputy Town Manager Lee Bailey said. A cost of $2,500 was waived because the town has an annual agreement with CivicPlus, Bailey said. The town pays $5,571 a year for the web maintenance service.
Town staff worked with CivicPlus for more than six months to pick the colors, tone and layout of the new website, Bailey said. The new site features: more e-mail alerts residents can sign up for; an archive of meeting agendas and minutes; calendar of events; documents including maps and ongoing zoning information; job postings; opinion polls; a staff directory and more.
Future additions to the site could include bid postings; ePay options; facility reservations; real estate locator; photo gallery; permits and licenses and more.
For more information or to give feedback on the redesign, call Lee Bailey at 704-545-9727 ext. 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.