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How to Fix The 5 Common Complaints About City and Government

How to Fix The 5 Common Complaints About City and Government

Cities face keeping up with the pace of change and the resident demands. Municipalities have long received criticism for needing to be more efficient and effective in what they're trying to accomplish. Those criticisms aren't always fair, but they tend to linger.

However, technology is starting to bridge the gap between the complaints and the reality. For governments plugged into emerging trends, the future (and present) is increasingly the norm.

The following article covers the five most common complaints about city government and what can or could be done.

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Not Enough Housing

It's no secret that one of the biggest drivers of homelessness in the United States is a lack of affordable housing. The increasing income inequality gap means the private industry invests more in homes geared toward upper-income residents.

That shifts the burden of affordable housing to municipalities, which often need to be equipped to address the issue. Beyond the issue of affordability, these municipalities also have the obligation of producing safe locations for their residents to call home. That requires extra attention and resources.

Addressing the housing dilemma requires careful planning and execution. Still, getting everyone on the same page can be difficult, especially when you don't have the technological tools in place—more on that in the next section.

 

Technology and Data Is Behind the Times

For many municipalities, systems between departments do not integrate, and it is perceived that the "right-hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" type of situation.

Additionally, IT departments can create training issues for cities with systems in place, creating another dilemma where cities fail to maximize the efficiency of the technology infrastructure that's in place.

Providing access to programs that communicate across devices and operating systems is essential for managing the data and info necessary for making quality decisions and building the infrastructure that offers a better life.

 

Irresponsible Budgeting

Large municipalities can take a lot of work to keep budgets on track. Think about a city of 100,000 with approximately 25 departments, including police, fire, streets, utilities, water/sanitation, parks, and finance.

The financial capabilities of these departments are:

  • Often dictated by the personnel they have in place.
  • Federal funding for which they may be eligible.
  • The priorities of their elected leaders.
  • The robustness (or lack thereof) of city revenues.
     

After each department submits its budget drafts, leadership must reconcile and approve that information. In other words, one budget brings with it many stakeholders. Establish a tracking system that ensures all departments are on the same page, and it becomes easier to keep your priorities and goals in sight.

 

Public Safety Concerns

One of the most essential functions of the municipality is keeping the public safe. They do this through a variety of methods.

  • Fire emergency response
  • Police call for service
  • Building permitting and inspections
  • Water treatment and transmission
  • Sanitary sewer and trash collection

It takes a lot of skill to keep these plates spinning. Without a proper tracking and response system, it's easy to experience issues.

 

Poor Economic Development

Cities that need better planning, financial irresponsibility, technological shortfalls, and public safety concerns need help to sustain their growth. They cannot attract new or robust industries to boost the tax base.

That makes it very hard to compete in economic development against other cities and regions with a handle on things. Tracking projects across platforms enables everyone to have a share in the present and future successes of the area, and it can stimulate gains in economic development.

 

How to Address Complaints About City Government

The best way for cities to stay ahead of complaints is to invest in technologies that simplify and integrate across platforms. We built e-PlanREVIEW® on this premise, and it has helped address several budgeting, infrastructure, and resource-planning needs that are common for municipalities. Contact us today to request a free trial or demonstration.

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