News & Blog

How Can Local Governments Continue to Serve Citizens in a Time of Social Distancing?
April 10, 2020

It’s easier than you might think…there’s an app for that!

CityView MobileCity Hall is shuttered. Weddings are cancelled. Divorces are on hold. Playgrounds are roped off with caution tape. In many states and provinces, city, county and state parks are closed: no biking, no hiking. Community centers are closed. Libraries are closed. Construction has come to a halt in some areas while others deem it an “essential business.” That’s because the federal government has left it up to states to enact their own policies. Council meetings are held remotely or cancelled. Some local government workers have been reassigned to other departments, as is the case in San Diego.

Yet local governments continue to have a responsibility to serve the public. What does that look like during the COVID-19 crisis? Buildings still need to be maintained and inspections still need to be conducted as most areas deem repairs and maintenance on structured essential infrastructure functions. Citizens still need to be able to apply for permits; contractors need to be able to present construction plans for approval; animals still need to be licensed; business licenses still need to be renewed, etc.

Government entities who are already set up to do much of these functions online are in pretty good shape. In that case, these facets of government can continue to run smoothly with minimal, if any, disruption. For governments who are not set up in that fashion, now might just be the right time to explore the technologies that will allow more online access to essential services for citizens, contractors, business owners and government staff members like inspectors.

Jami Neiber, Building Official for Scott County, MN, cites CityView’s online services as a significant factor in allowing the County continue to operate as close to normal as possible:

“While the Building Inspections Department office is closed to the public, we continue to provide services. We are so grateful that we are able to reduce exposure to our staff by requiring all permits to be applied for electronically through our CityView on-line ePermit system. Through this system permit applicants will select the permit type and enter permit data, upload required submittal and/or revision documents, make payments and retrieve final approved documents.”

There’s an App for That!

CityView has been serving local government’s community development and land management needs since 1982. CityView’s adaptive technology is well suited to offer efficiency for public sector staff and convenience to citizens with its online services. Such services include:

  • CityView Portal - A convenient and easy way for citizens, contractors, and businesses to self-serve, alleviating the workload on City employees. Join us for a webinar on April 15 to find out more: register here.
  • CityView Mobile- Reduce the number of phone calls to your office and eliminate duplicate data entry by managing and recording inspections in the field from a mobile device. Join us for a webinar on April 21 to find out more; register here
  • CityView Code/Bylaw Enforcement - A comprehensive system to track your cases from citizen request to resolution. Provide municipal staff with real-time access to case information that they can manipulate directly from the field. Join us for a webinar on April 23 to find out more; register here
  • CityView Electronic Plans Review - Streamline your review process and improve communication with CityView’s integrated Electronic Plans Review (EPR) solution. A paperless solution for plan reviews that saves time, money and the environment while driving customer satisfaction. Join us for a webinar on April 29 to find out more; register here.
  • CityView Animal Licensing - Trade time-intensive, manual processes for efficient electronic management of animal licensing including issuing, renewing, and billing.
  • CityView Business Licensing – Transfer to a business license process that is 100% electronic, like Cherokee County, GA did with CityView. Kevin J. Cully of Cherokee states:

    “We're using the heck out of our CityView Mobile installation. All of our building inspections are done out in the field. Our building inspectors love it because they can look at all documents related to the project which may affect how they measure the requirements of the inspection.

    “Our customers and citizens can see the outcome of an inspections seconds after the inspection is complete. A huge benefit to the people living and working and developing in Cherokee County.”

CityView remains committed to keeping its customers fully operational as well as providing opportunities to help local governments better enable self-service for their citizens. Contact us to learn how we can help you adopt to this “new normal.”