Town of Marana looks to keep pace with digital age - The Explorer: Marana

Town of Marana looks to keep pace with digital age

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Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 4:00 am | Updated: 1:25 pm, Wed Aug 8, 2012.

As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, the Town of Marana has taken full advantage by developing new interactive applications that allow residents and staff to manage the town cooperatively and efficiently.

In addition to the Town’s Facebook and Twitter pages, which continue to steadily grow, residents of Marana can keep in touch with staff through the recently launched My Marana Mobile App.

The innovative app allows residents, using an iPhone or Android phone, to report problems for the Town to address, such as graffiti, potholes, fallen signs, traffic light outages, illegal dumping, abandoned vehicles, or other matters of importance.

Marana spokesman Rodney Campbell said the app offers a feature to make it simple to use and just as simple to respond to.

“If a resident or visitor is driving around and sees an issue, they can take a photo of whatever that is and send it in to the Town, and it immediately tracks where that problem is using GPS technology” he said. “That way, they don’t have to type in an address or send any notes in with the photo about the location of the problem.”

Issues can also be reported by video, audio, or email. Users also have the option to use the app to receive Town updates.

On the Town’s end, staff can more efficiently address problems due to the reliability of the report location for service crews.

Campbell said the app is already increasing in popularity with the public.

“We have been doing pretty well in terms of participation,” he said. “We did quite a bit of advertising for it through the media and on our website, and so far it’s been going over well with the public.”

In addition to the My Marana app, staff has also developed an interactive calendar on the Town’s website. The calendar allows the community to better interact by publicizing events for page visitors.  

“It’s a way for organizations, whether it’s our Optimist Club, or a civic organization, or another group to advertise on our webpage,” said Campbell.

Campbell said the increasing options in technology are not a contradiction to, but rather a supplement to Marana’s historical ties to farming.

“It’s interesting, because we are able to tie the two together sometimes,” he said. “We talk about a place like Heritage Park, and then people will visit the website to find out how to get involved with the park. Technology helps with tying the past into the present into the future.”

Staff is also working on incorporating more video on the Town website.

“We are always looking at going above and beyond,” said Campbell. “Were always looking for new and innovative ways to reach out to the public.”

For more information on My Marana Mobile App, visit http://marana.com/ The app is free for iPhone and Android users.

To schedule an event on the interactive calendar, visit http://marana.com/forms.aspx?FID=173"http://marana.com/forms.aspx?FID=173.

The Marana website averages more than 5,000 hits per week, and now has direct links to Facebook and Twitter.

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