It’s been 5 years since we added the “Citizen Action Center” to our City website and some 62,000 viewings later, it seems to be stonger than ever.
The number of clicks on our Frequently Asked Question page were up 59% from 2011 and 373% from 2010. It’s great to see that we’re trending up.
The Citizen Action Center was born from a desire to give residents a place to find answers to the most common questions that come in to City Hall.
It turns out that Kent residents have a lot in common, including their most frequently asked questions, so we thought we’d try to save them the time of having to track us down and wait for our answers by posting those questions and answers on line where they can access them at their convenience 24-7, 365 days a year.
The database of online questions and answers currently includes 41 of your favorites but it can expand as we find certain questions getting asked and answered. Of the most frequently asked questions, the 2 most popular questiond have been pretty consistent from year to year: “Can I have a fire in my backyard” and “Does the City provide garbage pick-u?”
Residents can also submit unique questions that might not make the list. Those questions are sent to the appropriate staff for response. We’re averaging about 2 days to receive, process and reply to the question.
Lastly, residents can submit service requests directly on line too. The majority of the service requests relate to things like overgrown grass, excessive trash, potholes, etc. which end up being sent along to the Public Service Department for attention. I’m pleased to report that the time it takes us to respond to the service request has dropped from 8.4 days in 2008 to 2.3 days in 2012.
In 2012 we also added a new mobile phone City app which also provides direct access to your City for questions, answers and referrals so I wasn’t sure if we’d see a drop off in the on-line usage but the on-line numbers ended being up in every category so I’d say the on-line service is here to stay.