Every now and then, a resident in, let’s say, North Miami Beach, will be driving down the street, see something like illegal dumping and promise themselves they’ll report it as soon as they get home.
You “run your errands, and by the time you get back to your computer, you've forgotten the address or what you saw altogether,” North Miami Beach Assistant City Manager Mac Serda said.
Luckily, there is now an app for that.
North Miami Beach and Miami Lakes have each recently launched apps that allow residents to report code violations and view planned city events — among other feature — right from their smartphones.
“The goal is to better serve the people,” Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi said. “If people have an app that will let them buy a movie ticket or schedule a flight, why not a Miami Lakes app that lets them report a code violation?”
In Miami Lakes, their app — called the Miami Lakes Action Center — can be downloaded for free on the App Store and in the Google Play Store.
The application allows users to include photos and voice memos with reports of code violations they make using the app, file employee complaints, request a tree removal and other things.
Users can also link to the town website and get updates from the town.
“The beauty of the app is that for the first time you have total connectivity,” Pizzi said. “We are using technology to improve our quality of life.”
The North Miami Beach app is a little more complex.
It can be downloaded on Android, Apple and BlackBerry devices through their respective application stores.
A full version of the app will be available for Windows phones within the next month.
The app is called PublicStuff Mobile and, once downloaded, users will be asked to pick their city from a nationwide list.
This application has features such as information about the NMB Line, a free transportation service for the community; look up books in the library, view the city code, report streetlight outages.
The app allows for code violations to be submitted with a photo and for users to apply for permits. The status of any request made of the city can be checked through the app.
“I think it helps both residents and employees more efficiently address issues, and makes it easier for city staff to get them resolved quicker,” North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo said.
North Miami Beach officials are notified within minutes of a request being filed and said they aim to fix most issues within 72 hours.
Serda said he hopes the app improves communication between the city and its residents.