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News : Toledo Aims to Better Handle Resident Complaints
Toledo, OH, USA, Oct 9, 2015 -- Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson announced a new initiative to handle complaints.
Dubbed "Engage Toledo," the new plan moves the city 24-hour call center into its public utilities office where other city employees handle water customer service calls.
"Previous administrations have pushed for a 311 system but this administration is different because we have looked at the cost," Mayor Hicks-Hudson said during a morning news conference. "We have found that we have tools already in place to do this job. We don't need any shiny new objects to put in our toolbox and we just need to capture the resources we already had."
The mayor said the city has used a "top down approach" she wants to change to a "bottom up."
The first phase of the mayor's plan was merging the city call center — formerly known as "call city hall" — with the water department, which is already in place, she said.
The second phase will be a new website and a "newly designed and branded ’Engage Toledo’ app" that will use the SeeClickFix platform, she said.
Dave Scherting, Toledo's information technology director, said the website changes would not cost any additional money since he would assign city employees to do the work.
Ten employees answer the telephones for the new call center, and 18 employees handle water department customer service calls.
In 2014, the late Mayor D. Michael Collins announced the city's investment in a smartphone app, SeeClickFix, which he wanted people to use to report problems.
Activated July 30, 2014, the app allows residents to report a range of issues to the city directly from smartphones, tablets, or computers. Users may pinpoint problem spots on a map, select from a category menu, describe a requested action, upload a photo, and leave notes.
Reports may be made under user names or anonymously, and users can track their complaints' progress and be notified when they are acknowledged and resolved.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2015