It's a relatively simple concept. The name itself is self-descriptive: SeeClickFix. 

How it works is that a community member with a nuisance complaint, such as a pile of junk across the street or overgrown lawn at the corner, can log onto a specific local government portal of the SeeClickFix program and file a new request with the specific address included. That request then gets transmitted to the appropriate official who can get started on mitigating relevant issues.

Since its founding in 2008, SeeClickFix has expanded from a civic web hack in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, to more than 350 communities. At present time, 6 million-plus requests have been created on the website and SeeClickFix touts that it has helped fix at least 5 million. 

Abandoned Home 1

A complaint about the abandoned home at the corner of South Taft Avenue and 15th Street Southwest was listed on the local government portal SeeClickFix, a website where residents can file reports on nuisance properties in Mason City.

Illegal dumping, potholes, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, tree Issues and code violations are the most common complaints that are filed through the company's various portals, according to SeeClickFix Product Director Tucker Severson.

Step 1 with SeeClickFix: Log onto the local SeeClickFix portal at SeeClickFix.com/Mason-City

City Administrator Aaron Burnett confirmed that those do tend to be the most common issues the city sees requests about, basically anything that's a code violation. Mason City has utilized the program since 2012 and Severson said that what tends to pop up most here are requests for snow removal from public sidewalks as well as grass and weed issues and improper junk disposal. 

To date, Mason City has resolved more than 4,000 requests through the local SeeClickFix portal.

Burnett said that the benefit of such a program, which costs about $2,778 a year, is that it allows the city to meet residents where they're at.

"We try and look for more ways to be transparent and accessible," he said.

If there is any downside at all, Burnett argued, it's that the ease of reporting a specific issue can lead folks to think that the solution will happen just as quickly.

That's not always the case.

With something such as an overgrown lawn, a city contractor won't be able to come and mow unless the grass or weeds at the offending property exceed 12 inches.

But that and, perhaps, a need to promote the service to citizens who are still unaware of it are the only real issues that come up with SeeClickFix in Mason City.

Burnett said that the city is attempting to use as many avenues as possible to provide residents with pertinent information.

One point Burnett made is that in our current age, people with busy lives need an easier way to do things online.

SeeClickFix solves that particular problem. 

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