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Macon-Bibb County Uses Technology to Engage Residents

August 25, 2016
Screen shot of Macon-Bibb County’s SeeClickFix website.

Macon Bibb County has taken citizen engagement digital while revolutionizing the way it responds to complaints about potholes, graffiti, overgrown grass and other quality of life issues with the SeeClickFix application.
“What residents can do is take a picture of an issue and upload it to the application and it goes directly to the department responsible,” explained Chris Floore, assistant to the Macon-Bibb County Manager for Public Affairs.
Residents can use the application from their computer or smartphone. Those who download the SeeClickFix application to their smart phone can leverage the phone’s technology to interact with city government. The application uses geodynamic technology that alerts city officials to the location of an issue after someone uploads a picture to the application. Once a resident uploads the photo and documents the issue, the application sends an alert updating the resident to what the city is doing to address the issue. The status of the project is also online.
“The application helps with transparency,” Floor said. “Everyone knows how long we are taking to respond to an issue and what we are doing to take care of it.”
Added Denise Mercer, customer service manager for Macon Bibb County, “The application allows constituents to work hand-and-hand with the government to know issues are being addressed as promptly as possible.”
When the city resolves issues, officials can easily share that information with its residents.
“We go out and have a very public record about what our departments are doing to fix issues—that is information that doesn’t get on the front page of the newspaper or on the nightly news,” Floore said.
According to its website, SeeClickFix operates from three principals: empowerment, efficiency and engagement. “Citizens who take the time to report even minor issues and see them fixed are likely to get more engaged in their local communities,” wrote the SeeClickFix team. “It’s called a self-reinforcing loop.”
Floore said the city has consistently had one of the highest issue resolve rates in the country, ranking in the top 10 for all of 2015.
“Our current campaign has been so successful; our goal is to expand it to as many departments as possible,” he said.
While the city has used the application for code enforcement and public works since 2012, in February 2015, the city added its Traffic Engineering Department to the application, allowing residents to make requests, such as a study for the installation of a crosswalk, a stop sign or a traffic signal timing study, directly to the department.

“SeeClickFix has been a great way to connect people with other Macon-Bibb departments, so we wanted to provide the same service with our Traffic Engineering Division,” says Traffic Engineer Nigel Floyd. 
“We want to continue adding services to SeeClickFix so people can more easily interact with us and correct the issues they see in their neighborhoods,” said Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert. For more information, visit SeeClickFix.com.