Coon Rapids residents can fix a broken streetlight at the touch of a finger. Last week, the city signed on to SeeClickFix, a free mobile application available to residents via iPhone, Android or BlackBerry.
When residents use the app to notify the city of a problem -- a downed branch, pothole or stalled semaphore, for example -- the report feeds into the public works department's map program. Residents can follow its progress through the company website or Facebook page. The program costs the city $7,000 a year.
City Manager Matt Fulton said the system strips away layers of bureaucracy and holds city workers and officials immediately accountable to residents' concerns.
"Communities need to be more accountable, and it does provide for increased levels of citizen involvement," he said.
The system is not meant for emergency reports (911) or code violations (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The city of St. Paul is another subscriber.