Local Government and Politics, News

Lynnfield considers complaint line

LYNNFIELD The new year could bring another way for residents to make complaints.

Robert Curtin, interim town administrator, is exploring a system to report issues such as potholes or unplowed roads.

“It’s called 311 in other communities,” said Selectmen Chairman Christopher Barrett.

These non-emergency 311 call systems have become increasingly popular in Massachusetts. They give residents a quick, convenient way to complain about problems in their neighborhoods, and get them fixed.

Two years ago, Boston implemented the platform as a way to better enable residents to report issues such as graffiti, potholes, broken street lights, and access to city services.

Curtin said he is also examining smaller communities that use 311 or a similar database program to track complaints.

“Sometimes you have an issue that involves more than one department, you need a couple of sign-offs, and you need people to get together,” he said. “The nature of municipal government is people are coming in all the time with something and you don’t want something to get lost in the shuffle.”

A tracking system would be valuable to make sure any problems get solved fast, the interim administrator said.

“I think this is well worth looking into,” said Selectman Richard Dalton. “It’s a way to hold ourselves and our employees accountable to the citizens.”

Curtin said he will update the panel on a 311 or database program at its first meeting in January.

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