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Got A Problem In The City? There's An App For That

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Got a street light out? There's an app for that.

Code enforcement complaint? There's an app for that.

Bus not showing up on time? There's an app for that too.

Not to steal the iPad thunder from Apple, but the City of Santa Clarita announced Thursday that they have jumped on the bandwagon of quick and easy reporting for a variety of municipal concerns - that is, if you have an iPhone.

The free app is called iService by the City, but to install it on your phone, go to the app store and type in GORequest - simply pick Santa Clarita and you've got City Hall at your fingertips 24/7.

Because of the GPS in the iPhone, once a citizen selects an issue, they simple take a picture of the offending area or item and send it to the City - the call is automatically routed to the correct office. They can even get progress reports on their concerns through the iService program.

"With more than 50,000 applications already available and millions more downloaded every day, there is a clear demand and expectation among our residents to be able to report issues to the City whenever or wherever they prefer via their iPhones," said Mayor Laurene Weste. "iService also improves the City's ability to respond to service requests in a more timely fashion, which is very important with our tight budget."

The app's efficiency allows the City of Santa Clarita to serve more requests with fewer people, saving the City time and money while providing round-the-clock service reporting for residents and business community.  The new iService app also corresponds perfectly with the City's existing customer management system.

"It gives us the ability to respond very quickly to citizen concerns," said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz. "The system gives us a couple days to respond, which goes into the system back to the citizens and into a report that the City Manager gets. We can track whether there's one part of the city where there's more graffiti, or street light outages. It's useful for us to track problems and address them quickly."

"The same service is available for people with Blackberries or other phones," Ortiz continued. "Any phone with internet access can be used to go to the city's website (santa-clarita.com) and click through to make the same reports. They just don't have the GPS and camera capabilities."

"This is all about continual improvement for all of our services in Santa Clarita," said City Manager Ken Pulskamp. "We're constantly trying to figure out ways to improve customer service to all of the citizens and as technology evolves, this seemed like a great way for our citizens to be able to get their concerns taken care of and also help us do our jobs. We can't fill potholes we don't know about or we can't take down graffiti we haven't seen.  This is another opportunity for citizens and city government to work hand in hand."