(STACKER) – Government accountability isn’t always flashy or grand. Most of the time, it looks like municipal employees fixing a pothole reported by a concerned citizen or a stop sign someone noticed was damaged in a storm. These are small tasks with significant residual impacts.
SeeClickFix was among the first communication software companies to build upon the existing 311 infrastructure—a longstanding nonemergency phone line utilized in many cities to establish a relationship between local governments and residents.
Moving beyond the limitations of a phone call, the SeeClickFix mobile app expanded user offerings by allowing citizens to include photos, pinpoint problems using GPS location data, communicate with government stakeholders, and track the progress of their filed complaints. In turn, government officials could more efficiently respond to vetted complaints and track issues their employees couldn’t possibly identify alone.
Not all submissions warrant intervention. Some complaints may be better defined as an airing of grievances than true municipal responsibility. Take, for instance, the resident from New Haven, Connecticut, who wanted health department officials to rule where her neighbor could park his car. After witnessing her neighbor park his car on his front lawn, she filed a health complaint stating the tire indents could fill with water, stagnate, and potentially attract disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Many complaints, however, are helpful and important for city officials to track. Stacker analyzed over 70,000 issues for 365 metro areas on SeeClickFix.com to find the most common categories of complaints submitted by concerned citizens. Data was retrieved the week of Oct. 24, 2022, and reported issues were the most recently logged during the past 10 years, up to 1,000 issues per metro as available.