Thursday, February 01, 2001

City to hear dot.complaints


Online company will field gripes from citizens

By Robert Anglen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        If you've got a gripe about Cincinnati when you wake up, officials say it should be solvedby lunchtime.

        That's the goal of a $40,000 proposal being unveiled today by four City Council members and a local Internet company that would let residents complain and ask for help via the Web.

        “If you need a pothole filled, trash picked up or your snow plowed off your street, just click, write and send,” said Councilman Phil Heimlich.

        The impetus for the proposal came this month when the Ohio Department of Transportation announced a partnership with PlanetFeedback.com.

        Mr. Heimlich and Councilmembers John Cranley, Pat DeWine and Alicia Reece say they each contacted PlanetFeedback and then met this week to craft an agreement.

        “This would allow us to interact with citizens, for good or bad,” Ms. Reece said.

        Mr. DeWine agreed, calling it a tool to help city officials identify problems quickly.

        PlanetFeedback.com, which went online in February 2000, specializes in providing private companies with instant consumer reactions on various products and services.

        Chief Operating Officer Mike Nazzaro said Wednesday that local government can benefit from the same service — and it gives the company a new market to tap.

        “Government is an area we wanted to evolve into,” Mr. Nazzaro said, adding that the company is charging Cincinnati less than its normal rate to act as a pilot program.

        Under terms of a draft contract, PlanetFeedback would provide services for 28 city departments, then report on those contacts to the city.

        With Mayor Charlie Luken's support, the proposal has a majority of the council behind it.

       



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