Yuba City goes mobile with app for residents
Download My Yuba City from the App Store or Google Play. The form is also on www.yubacity.net.
Streetlights go out, potholes pop up and developers and homeowners are bound to have code and permit questions. Communication and resolution doesn't always come clearly, however.
Yuba City officials are looking for improved customer service efficiency, accountability and more resident interaction with the recently launched My Yuba City application for mobile devices.
Economic Development Manager Darin Gale said the "eyes on the streets" platform has been in the works for the last year, with the City Council and department heads working toward a new form of city-citizen communication.
"Although it had been available for a few months, we believe we've worked out all the issues with this," Gale said.
The service comes through an existing city contract with technology firm Comcate, which specializes in public entity customer service. The company has similar services for Fairfield, Mountain View and Modesto.
Reportable issues and topics range from police reports to water and sewer bill questions — with inquires directed to appropriate departments and officials.
"It's not like it comes to a clearinghouse," Gale said. "It's going to the people who are going to be on the ground solving the problem."
Gale said city staff have noticed residents using the service to address the issue du jour, and Mayor John Buckland said My Yuba City comes as a complement to rather than a replacement for other methods of communications.
Buckland said he hopes the service also helps city employees promptly respond to and track inquiries.
"I think all too often we just don't follow through very well with communication," he said.
No matter how small the problem, Buckland added, residents should feel free to share concerns about and take pride in their neighborhoods and city. Anonymous reporting is also available.
And with some people more comfortable with new technology and social media than others, sending photos of graffiti, vandalism or other issues via cellphone might encourage feedback.
"Picture's worth a thousand words, and nobody's going to type that much," Buckland said, adding that, if nothing else, residents should give the service a try.