Dear Local Government Official,

First off, let me say that you are doing great. 

Everyone has been saying the nicest things about you. And that resolution last week, let’s just say, people are still talking about it. But I’d like to address the elephant in the room: You have a reputation for … how do I put this … not being, um … up-to-speed with the latest technology.

In other words, when it comes to technology, you’re not the hippest one at the party.  I know you’ve just gotten used to having a Web site, but to be honest, that’s so 2007.

So I’ll be cautious as I begin the conversation on the next step in this new world: Smart phone applications – iPhone apps to be exact. 

You’ve seen the commercials during Larry King. “There’s an app for that.” 

Well, issues in your city, county, district? There’s an app for that, too.

Graffiti, broken streetlights, potholes, etc. can all be directly reported to the most appropriate contact through an effortless iPhone app.

Citizens simply open the app, take a photo of the issue and tap submit – the app knows the exact location of the issue and sends the issue directly to the correct person within the city to fix the problem.

Without this app, technicians would scamper through cities or counties with notebook computers, and digital cameras and with handheld GPS to locate and record each problem area with a photo and all back-up data; all of which will have to be recorded manually. 

And unlike most new technology that comes to your desk, this one is completely free. A California-based company,, can set up the app within weeks and without charge. Yup, free for the city or county and for the user. 

Think of it as a virtual suggestion box. (Because really, when was the last time somebody checked that thing. There are probably more than 20 outstanding suggestions on sticky notes from Dorothy of the Retired Citizens Group.)

The iPhone app keeps it simple, saving time and money. 

Seems like a no-brainer to me. 


The Guy Trying To Make Your Life Easier

James Spencer can be reached at