Friday, July 13, 2007

City of Elgin Citizen Request Tracker

I wanted to share my experience with a feature on the City of Elgin website, Citizen Request Tracker. Like many of you, I sometimes view the world of information on the web with blinders on. I visit a site with a specific purpose and go right to the link I need without any exploring. Well, the mind has amazing powers. Even though I never paid much attention to the image on the left, my brain did and when it came time to use it, some neurons got together and said, Hey dummy, why don't you try this. Now back to my story.

Wednesday, July 11th around 11 am.
I was walking north on Spring Street near Fulton. A group of people ahead of me, possibly visitors, has to duck to maneuver around low hanging branches. Yes, I've encountered this obstacle before and said, I should call this in when I get to the office. Alas, the idea is usually forgotten by the time I reach my office but this time I remember.

2:15 pm, Oh ya, that branch. I jump on the city website and go directly to the Citizen Request Tracker and select the "Parkway Tree Trimming" option.

2:47 pm, I receive this email message,
Thank you. A certified arborist will inspect the tree within two business days of the receipt of your request and determine the proper course of action.

Friday, July 13th, 10:52 am
Another email,
We have followed up on your request and the proper steps have been taken to resolve the matter. Your case is now closed. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

I have to see this for myself. Well, no ducking is required, in fact, I don't think you could touch a branch if you jumped up in the air.
Thank you, City of Elgin.

So if you have an issue to resolve, follow these simple steps.
1) Go to and click on the Citizen Request Tracker in the lower right corner.
2) Select an option
Community Development Group
Construction without Building Permits
Excessive Weeds
Junk and Debris on Private Property
Junk and Debris on Tree Bank
Major Auto Repair in Resident Districts
Outdoor Storage of Household Items
Temporary Signs in Yard (not including Realtor signs)
Unpaved Parking
Public Works
Abandoned Shopping Carts
Damage to Playground or Park Equipment
Damaged/Obstructed Signs
Garbage/Recycle Cart Repair & Replacements
Illegal Dumping in Parks
Parkway Tree Trimming
Street Light Malfunction
Traffic Signal Malfunction
3) Fill in the required information
4) Sit back and see what happens. You've done your part to be the eyes out on the streets of Elgin.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Downtown Elgin on Channel 17

If you missed the 4th of July Parade or you want to experience it again, just tune into the City of Elgin Government Access Television on cable channel 17 during the following times:
Tuesdays, Thursdays- 3:30 p.m.
Saturdays- 1:30 p.m.
Don't miss the lively interaction between John Prigge and Jeff Myers as they describe each entry.

Mayor Schock and Councilman Kaptain discuss a "Greener" Elgin on "Elgin Up Close"
Sunday - 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday - 9:30 a.m.
Thursday - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday - 9:30 a.m.

"Elgin Today" hosted by Jeff Myers, features stories on the Residence Tour, Harvest Market, the Senior Fair, and the Library's Space exhibit, astronaut visit and Muggles Night. You can catch the program during the following times:
Sunday - 9;00 p.m.
Monday - 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday - 7:00 p.m.
Friday - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday - 10:00 a.m.

Click here for the complete Channel 17 schedule.

All these shows are on cable channel 17 for Comcast and Wide Open West subscribers in the Elgin market.

UPDATE: View the Fox News interviews with Mayor Schock and Jack and Marlene Shales from the 4th of July Parade here.