Southfield launches new citizen reporting tool and website

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published August 21, 2019


SOUTHFIELD — See a problem that the city needs to fix?

There’s an app for that.

According to a news release from Community Relations Director Michael Manion, the city of Southfield has partnered with the SeeClickFix app to launch a new platform, SeeClickFixSouthfield.

The free app allows people to directly report quality-of-life issues and request city services, Manion said. The service can also be accessed on the city’s website, which recently received a makeover.

With the app, residents can provide city staff with photos and specific descriptions of any issues they come across, from potholes to building maintenance issues.

Deputy City Administrator John Michrina said City Administrator Fred Zorn got the ball rolling on the tool.

“(Zorn) wanted a one-stop shop for residents to immediately report concerns to the city and for the city to quickly report back on progress to the residents,” Michrina said in an email.

Michrina said similar programs were considered, but SeeClickFix best met the city’s needs. Prior to being launched in Southfield, the app was already in use by several other communities.

The annual cost of SeeClickFix is $9,860, which will come out of the city’s technical services budget.

The app is compatible with both Apple and Android devices, and works just like it sounds, Michrina said.

“Once the resident installs the app and they see a problem, they click a picture and submit it through the app. The concern is automatically routed to the correct department. Once the problem is addressed, the city communicates with the resident through the app and updates her or him when the matter is addressed,” he said in an email.

The app also inserts the location of the problem automatically based on the phone’s GPS, or the resident can enter the location manually.

All of the concerns submitted through the program will be acknowledged, and residents will receive a final response once there is a resolution. If there is an emergency, however, residents should call 911.

“If someone reports a concern regarding a road that will require several million dollars to address, the response may be when the road is scheduled for replacement or resurfacing and that smaller defects that can be addressed will be until then,” Michrina said in an email.

City officials worked to create categories that would be the most effective and helpful to residents, but those can change, Michrina said, and officials will continue to accept concerns and feedback.

“The implementation of SeeClickFix is not static,” Michrina said in an email. “Categories will be added and deleted in response to resident use, and workflows will be adjusted as needed, as well.”

Manion said that the app will help residents further connect with their local government.

“This technology will greatly improve city service delivery, transparency and community engagement while also improving the tracking and monitoring of issue resolution,” Manion said in an email.

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