Residents Connect with City of Galt Through New App

The app is part of the GaltConnect program, launched last month, to enable residents to communicate directly with the city without making a phone call.

by Jennifer Bonnett, McClatchy News Service / May 23, 2014

In the past month, more than 50 computer and mobile device users have submitted requests to get things fixed through the city of Galt’s new app using a mobile device or on the city’s website.

It’s part of the GaltConnect program the city of Galt launched last month as the official civic engagement tool enabling residents to communicate directly with the city without making a phone call.

Users have access to important city information, can submit service requests, report issues, and track their requests online or via their iPhones and Android smartphones. Here’s how it works:

1. See something that needs to be fixed, like a pothole, broken street sign or lamp, graffiti, abandoned vehicle or illegal trash dumping?

2. Submit a service request including your location and even a photo via your device or via the website. You can also submit requests using any mobile phone that has Internet access and text messaging.

3. The relevant city staff members receive the request and resolve the problem quickly and efficiently, according to City Manager Jason Behrmann.

To date, the city has received 72 submissions in all. These are not phone calls; these are submissions via cell phone or computer.

Of those, 22 were anonymous submissions while 31 were from registered users, some of whom have submitted multiple requests, according to Behrmann.

He said the largest number of requests are for streetlight problems (10), code enforcement (13), park/landscape maintenance (9) and roadway debris (7).

“It’s pretty cool,” Behrmann said. “We have been very pleased with the response and the quick adoption by the community. It is a great way for the public to connect with the city.”

Through the app, the city will also provide relevant information on local events, emergency alerts and more.

Even those who haven’t submitted a request, but have downloaded the app can see nearby requests which will show users detailed submissions from the public — including photos — as well as any responses from city staff, according to Behrmann.

He said the city is taking advantage of how people communicate today with modern technology.

“They may not pick up the phone to report a concern or issue, mostly because they view it as a hassle or they don’t know who to contact in the city. But most people are very comfortable communicating with their smart phone,” Behrmann said. “See an issue, open the app, describe the issue and/or take a photo, and hit submit. That’s it.”

To download the free app (iPhone/Android), click the appropriate link (App Store for iPhone, Google Play for Android) on your device and search for “GaltConnect”.

©2014 the Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, Calif.)