OSWEGO, NY – Oswego city officials are weighing the benefits of contracting with CitySourced to help create a system to assist with reporting and follow-ups of various types of work orders.
Recently, several councilors and Mayor Tom Gillen sat down for a conference call with Andrew Kirk, CitySourced’s director.
CitySourced is “a real time mobile civic engagement platform,” according to Kirk.
It provides a simple and intuitive platform empowering residents to identify civic issues (public safety, quality of life, environmental issues, etc.) and report them to city hall for quick resolution; an opportunity for government to use technology to save time and money plus improve accountability to those they govern; and a positive, collaborative platform for real action, he added.
Kirk proposed an app that would alert city officials to calls regarding things from leaf pickup to loud house parties.
It would also create a data base of all the calls and subsequent actions.
The city could set up the system to alert a certain group of people who would then disseminate the information as needed.
Councilor Fran Enwright wanted to make sure the system was secure and prank calls wouldn’t be a problem. Kirk assured that those types of calls would be dealt with appropriately.
If people want to get an answer to their question or concern, they’ll need to provide contact information, Councilor Eric VanBuren said.
“If they don’t then there is no way for them to get an answer,” he said.
CitySourced would set up and maintain the system.
The only thing Oswego would have to do is set up the list of contacts (mayor, department heads etc.) VanBuren pointed out.
There is a one-time setup cost and an annual $3,000 maintenance fee, Kirk said.
Enwright said it probably would take a while to get the involved city workers up to speed on the new system.
“First, they’d probably do things the old fashioned way and then they’d have to do it this way, too, put it on the computer, in the data base,” he said.
Having everything online, a click away, will make things more efficient, noted Council President Ron Kaplewicz.
Enwright agreed, using a search of a property that has had multiple violations as an example.
“There’s all the violations. There’s what’s been done in the last six months to a year right in front of you,” he said.
“It becomes your eyes and ears,” Second Ward Councilor Mike Myers added. “Everything would be on there, documented.”
There may be some that wouldn’t be comfortable using the system at the start (if the city goes that route) and would need “some egging on,” Kaplewicz said, adding that it would be the mayor’s responsibility to see to it that everyone is on the same page.
The data base will likely raise a few red flags, he said.
“This will give us a real clear view of trouble spots; the areas where we have been placing a lot of the city’s recourses and hopefully allow us to get better control of the situations,” he said.
“It’s time for something like this,” Mayor Gillen said. “It will help move Oswego into the 21st century.”
The matter will be brought back to the council for discussion by all members.