City Centralized Help Desk Still Pending?

to Greg, CityCouncil
service-bellThe City of Port Orange is still in need of a  centralized “Help Desk” with a ticket system to track residents & council request and complaints.
video clip of a November Council meeting

Below is a copy of a couple emails sent to & from City Hall over nine months ago.
On December 7,2012 the City Manager said  “…..We are exploring how this can be done so that citizens have access to this data and the status of the complaint …..”
How’s that going ??     Anybody start working on it yet?
Pat Nelan

From: Parker, Ken
To: Patrick Nelan; City Council
Cc: DeptHeads
Subject: Re: Port Orange needs a Help Desk program
Date: Friday, December 07, 2012 11:59:13 AM
The City has used both a centralized and a decentralized approach over the years. one of the best process is in Public Works. When a call comes in, the individual who answers the phone is the “help desk”. His job is to log in the call and make sure that the superintendent is made aware of the problem. He follows up with the citizen.
At one time, we had the same type of answering point in Community Development. That position provided the same type of service to the citizens as described in Public Works. That position was eliminated during the budget cut backs. The automated answering system was put in place to handle code enforcement calls when code officers were out. The same process was in place for building inspections and permitting.
For City Council Members, the method was centralized the contact and tracking of complaints. Executive Assistant to the City Manager is the tracker of complaints for City Council Members. At one point, there was a part time clerical position in the Manager’s Office who provided support to the Executive Assistant in keeping track of Council Member complaints. The part time position was eliminated as part of the budget cutting process.
Some cities have open Customer Service Centers. Cities have to determine what types of calls are going to be centralized and what types of calls will remain decentralized. Will this center focus on just code enforcement, streets, drainage, solid waste, etc, not utility services and billing issues?
One of the suggestions was placing Code Enforcement items on line so that citizens can access the status of complaint. We are exploring how this can be done so that citizens have access to this data and the status of the complaint.
Many private sector companies have moved to one stop Customer Service Centers. These Centers provide their customers a single contact number. I concur with Mr. Nelan that we do not need to reinvent the wheel. There are a number of models out there.
Sent from my iPad

Patrick Nelan
December 6, 2012  2:00 PM
to bford,  cc:  kparker, agreen, Don, dkennedy, dbastian
In regards to your recent concerns on the lack of viable tracking of complaints to city staff.   What the City needs is called a Help Desk program.  Other Cities have been using Help Desk programs for years, perhaps it is a good time for Port Orange to catch up on today’s Web technology.
As a case at point, check out the Help Desk-ticket system web page from the municipality of  Destin, Florida at ::::
I am sure if Port Orange asks nicely, our sister city of Destin, Fl  will supply us with a copy of their software.   And hopefully our IT staff has the capability to revise it to fit Port Orange.
Speaking of Municipal web sites, I am sure someone on city staff spent a lot of time developing the Port Orange web page, and it was a good effort, but it looks like a leftover from the 90’s.  Take a look at the Home pages of  Help Desk type Web sites like the City of Destin, FL or even from way up north in Anchorage, AK and numerous other cities.  No need to reinvent the wheel, if we see one the fits nicely for Port Orange and we ask for a copy, I am sure most other City’s will be happy to share with us.
Pat Nelan

One thought on “City Centralized Help Desk Still Pending?

  • August 13, 2013 at 6:24 am

    we have been working on it. We have the basis of an internally developed system. We have also reviewed an external system that seems to do everything we want at a very modest cost.
    It allows customers to log a complaint and/or concern and we can then track it as it works through the system. It will also map the complaints so you can see if an issue is confined to a particular geographic area. We have several cities that use this system in Volusia County and I am talking with them to verify their satisfaction.
    Greg Kisela
    City Manager


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