Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Opinion

Reporting Pinellas code problems is a snap with new app

Has the empty house across the street gone to seed with overgrowth? Or have potholes on the morning commute made you feel like you're driving through a downhill mogul course? Well, thanks to a new service being offered by Pinellas County, there's an app for that.

This year, the county entered into an agreement with SeeClickFix, a technology company based in New Haven, Conn.

The app allows residents to file a nonemergency report with a smartphone or via the Internet.

"A lot of times when a citizen files a report, they don't know if it's a city or county road," said Michael Roiland, Web manager for the county.

"Rather than having the citizen worry about the jurisdiction, they can use the app and we'll take care of followup."

Someone in the county's communications department monitors the incoming complaints, Roiland said. That person either responds to the report, if it's within the county's jurisdiction, or the complaint is forwarded to the proper municipality.

In the current setup, residents throughout the county can access the service by visiting seeclickfix.com/pinellas_county.

"Ideally, we want all the municipalities to participate,'' he said.

In a recent newsletter, the city of St. Petersburg jumped on board, encouraging residents to use the service.

"There's a lot of activity coming from St. Pete lately, which is directly related to the recent newsletter," Roiland said.

A glance at the site shows the filed complaint, the status and its jurisdiction. It also shows the location of the report.

This allows for government transparency because residents can see what their neighbors are reporting, Roiland said.

"We still have a lot of people who call by phone, but as more people get used to their mobile devices, we expect to see the use of this venue increased."

To see the list of nonemergency complaints filed each day, visit pinellascounty.org/seeclickfix/default.htm.

• • •

Herb Snitzer, an award-winning St. Petersburg photographer and artist, has just earned more hardware.

He was recently awarded the Lona Foote-Bob Parent Award for photography by the Jazz Journalists Association at the 16th annual JJA Jazz Awards at the legendary Blue Note in New York City.

Snitzer's work has been featured in magazines, books and CD liner notes about jazz musicians of the 1950s and '60s. Snitzer has photographed everything from civil rights demonstrations to athletes. His work hangs in museums and galleries across the country.

Snitzer will soon move from his studio at Salt Creek Artworks at 1600 Fourth St. S.

Stay tuned.

• • •

Less than a week after announcing that Sylvia's Queen of Soul Food Restaurant will be coming to the historic Manhattan Casino, the co-founder of the Harlem, N.Y., establishment, Sylvia Woods, has died.

City officials had been aware that Woods was gravely ill and had hoped a family member would attend Thursday's City Council vote on the agreement with Urban Development Solutions.

That is now unlikely.

The process, though, will move forward with plans to open a restaurant in late spring or early summer of 2013.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at twitter.com/StPeteSandi or at (727) 893-8874.

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