• Posted On: August 15, 2014

Arguments centered on code enforcement issues occur between local government leaders and residents across the U.S. Code enforcement regulations and the violation notice that follows can spark a debate that gets heated between a government and residents, whether it’s about weeds, signage, garbage, unlicensed vehicles or building inspections. The lack of communication or effective communication can make the situation more difficult.

One case of this is an issue regarding trash in Selma, AL. The Selma Times-Journal reported on a code enforcement forum where citizens voiced their concerns about code enforcement issues regarding excessive trash throughout their city. Residents are upset that more residents aren’t doing their part to keep their city clean. Code enforcement is tasked with finding the residents who place their trash where it doesn’t belong, but the task isn’t as easy as it once was.

One code enforcement officer said they could once look through the trash and find an envelope or two with the name and address of the person who likely was dropping their garbage where it didn’t belong. However, people are getting smarter and leaving no paper trail behind.

Trash wasn’t the only issue troubling the residents during the code enforcement forum – they’re also concerned about leaf collection throughout the city. It appears that the city’s method of picking up the bagged leaves (using a truck with a large hydraulic claw to grasp the bags) is leaving divots in the yards of the residents. Others are upset that the city will only pick up bagged leaves and not piles left by the side of the road.

Obviously, the community has issues that are similar to what many cities like yours experience. What your community needs is something more than a forum to get to the bottom of excess trash leaving the community an eyesore. Embracing technology could be the key.

Citizens are increasingly becoming connected through technology, i.e. smartphones. Tablet computers like the iPad are also becoming more commonplace in households throughout the U.S. These devices can be used to better communicate code enforcement issues, which in turn can lead to more frequent violation notices going out to offenders.

When connected with a mobile app, citizens can take a picture of the issue, whether it’s a bag of trash in the street or a private property overrun with weeds, pinpoint the location with GIS capabilities and send it to the city where a case will be opened. Your city workers, including code enforcement officers, will know exactly where the problem exists and how big it is.

With citizens playing a role in the cleanliness of your city, the job of the code enforcement officers becomes easier. Furthermore, when your city workers are armed with mobile apps of their own, they can communicate with the citizens who first reported the problem and send them updates on the case.

Comcate is a company that specializes in building the solutions that puts technology in the hands of city workers and citizens. Government should run more efficiently, and thanks to Comcate’s solutions, that’s exactly what is happening.

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