What is a QR Code?
Those of you I have had the pleasure to meet in person already may have noticed one characteristic in particular: Yes, I am tied to my cell phone, like many of us these days. We use them to stay in touch with family and friends, to be reached in emergencies, and to receive important alerts.
Our phones are becoming a very important key to our ability to access and share information. We know that in the Town, and that is why we are committed to providing easier access to communicate with us, and to receive information that may be important to you, with no effort on your part.
That is where QR, or Quick Response, codes come in. QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes that you scan using a free app on your phone. They work as links, and take you directly to the mobile Website with information about the topic of interest. If you already have a mobile app that allows you to scan products and check food prices, for instance, this same free app will scan these codes and make it easy to bookmark and find information that you know you will need or want later.
Gilbert has two QR codes now and plans more. Our recycling division uses their code in materials they provide, so residents who join us in our wildly important Go Green Gilbert campaign. You can scan the code and go directly to a page detailing the do’s and don’ts of recycling, and other ways to help the town be more environmentally friendly. Our second code is posted at our development services counters, and is an important tool for our customers to use and provide us feedback, while their experience with planning and development with us is fresh and in real time. That is a convenient way for you to provide us feedback, and allows us to constantly review for improvements that matter most to our business owners and constituents going through the process.
Report problems easily
Technology in general is changing in Gilbert, in an ongoing effort to be efficient, as cost-effective as possible, and proactive as a service provider.
We know we are moving in the right direction, just by analyzing results from our past improvements. Our Fix-It page, www.gilbertaz.gov/fixit, made it easier for residents to report issues directly to the Town using an online form, and saved us about 300 hours of staff work per year, while increasing our response to issues now easier to report by 21 percent. And that is just the start, because our new mobile app, myGilbert, makes it even easier to report neighborhood concerns.
We have seen other successes, like the elimination of mailing 400 business license renewals due to scanning documents – equating to another savings of 200 hours of annual staff time. Our police department is moving forward with a Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety, which uses a smart analysis of real crime rates to provide proactive responses. Technology has a strong impact in everything we do.
Water Safety Walk
As we approach summer, and my family eagerly awaits their chance to jump into our new home’s pool, I want to end this update with an encouragement to consider joining our community and our Gilbert Fire Department as we embark on a Walk for Water Safety on March 31. We will be handing out materials – with tips that may surprise you, and save a life – and you can play a big part in keeping our kids safe. I encourage you to learn more at www.gilbertaz.gov/watersafety.
I can’t, of course, end without inviting you to cheer on Gilbert at the annual Mayor’s Cactus League Hotdog Challenge, which takes place on Saturday and involves free fun and games – and a chance to beat Mesa in softball! Have a great weekend.
Patrick Banger, Town Manager