Take Our Citizens Survey
The City of Valdosta launched its new robust website today packed with information about how local government works, how to make online payments, how to report a concern, and how to start a business, among an exhaustive list of other information and web tools useful to citizens on a daily basis. The new website is part of a community initiative to make city government more accessible and accountable through modern technology.
The citizen-friendly site is American Disability Act compliant and includes a modern search engine component, improved navigation menus, friendly URLs, embedded photo galleries and videos, social media integration, online forms and payment ability, interactive maps, mobile phone/tablet accessibility, printer-friendly pages, and other features that provide a positive experience for citizens seeking information.
One of the city’s signature features is the “Report a Concern” button. The navigation button—one of five prominently located service buttons on the city’s homepage and one of the first self-reporting services of its kind for our area—features the new Valdosta Click ‘N Fix app, which allows citizens to report non-emergency issues to city staff from the city’s new website or conveniently from the citizen’s mobile device. The app, powered by SeeClickFix, employs GPS to recognize a citizen’s location, offers a menu of common conditions to select from, and allows the user to upload pictures or videos to accompany a non-emergency service request, such as street maintenance, broken street lights, overgrown lots and others. Citizens may also track their reported concerns through completion, as well as view issues submitted by others.
The city’s new website was also built to accommodate a community event calendar to meet a need recently discussed in a community meeting. Cities, Lowndes County, the Development Authority and others will be able to have a staff person credentialed to use this webpage to post their meetings and events, thus providing one source for citizens in the cities and county to be made aware of local events.
The homepage also features the city’s Metro 17 productions—the video news stories and programs produced by the city’s government access channel in partnership with the Valdosta State University Mass Media Department and aired on Mediacom channel 17.
Other pages throughout the site are designed to share community information such as economic development facts, things to do in the area, and information about other citizen interests.
“We look forward to how this new Valdosta website will positively impact the city,” Mayor Gayle said. “Our goal is to continue to provide the information that we always have for citizens and other interested individuals in a more modern and efficient format.”
The City of Valdosta launched its first website in 1998 and was one of the first local governments in the area to have a comprehensive website. The city was also among the first to incorporate online payment services, online job applications, crime maps, traffic cameras, online council meeting agendas and minutes, and other features later added by other local governments. The last city website upgrade took place in 2007 and an effort was made to stretch the life of the current site for as long as possible in order to save taxpayers’ dollars.
In 2015, the city opted to utilize VC3, its contracted Information Technology operations provider, to build the new website at a reduced cost. VC3 has over 20 years of experience and focuses on municipal and county governments.
Citizens’ feedback was a part of the entire process of building the new site, as citizens were invited to provide feedback via an online survey both before and after its creation, resulting in a site that meets the needs of the city’s internal and external customers.
The new website is a work-in-progress that will continue to be updated to provide citizens with information in an easy-to-find and accessible format. Citizens may continue to share their feedback via the online survey located on the new site.