Center Manager: “Year over year, we've expanded our service offerings through the Citizen Service Center and we've seen a steady increase in usage.”
Published : Tuesday, September 25, 2018 | 5:34 AM
When Pasadena residents need to take advantage of any of wide array of city services, from trash pickup and pothole problems to animal control, they call upon the Citizen Service Center.
The centralized hub routes thousands of calls and online requests to the appropriate municipal department, while also providing information about the city’s services to residents and helping coordinate enforcement of municipal quality of life ordinances.
Formed in 2014, the department will be presenting it’s first in-person progress report to the Municipal Services Committee during Tuesday afternoon’s meeting. And based on the figures, the report will be a positive one, Service Center Manager Mandy Templeton said.
“We’re very proud of the results and really I’m happy with the response that we’ve received from the community,” she said. “Year over year, we’ve expanded our service offerings through the Citizen Service Center and we’ve seen a steady increase in usage.”
One of the department’s responsibilities is coordinating the pickup of bulky trash items, as well as education the public about the program and discouraging illegal dumping, officials said.
The number of large items being trashed in the city has roughly doubled in the four years since the CSC was born, from 3,658 in 2014 to 6,989 this year, as of the end of August.
But while 72 percent of those items were simply abandoned on city streets in 2014, the majority of items this year were reported by residents for scheduled pickup, with 41 percent abandoned, city according to a draft of the CSC’s report.
“The department itself has made a large effort in trying to educate the community through the use of materials, newsletter articles and our code enforcement officers to have our residents call us and schedule these pickups instead of just dumping their items at the curb. And we’ve seen a lot of success with that this year,” Templeton said.
The department’s programs continue expanding, she added.
“We just launched a wildlife sighting and nuisance requests, so residents can report sightings of coyotes and other wildlife that are in areas they shouldn’t be,” Templeton said. “We do work with the Humane Society… residents can submit the request to us, but it will go to the Humane Society officers to go out and address issues like barking nuisances and dead animal removal.”
So far this year, the agency has responded to more than 1,600 graffiti complaints, 980 problems regarding trees or fallen palm fronds, 950 street light issues, 620 parking enforcement calls, and 410 pothole reports, data shows.
In addition to a call center, the CSC runs a website, has mobile apps for both Apple and Android, and offers live online chat.
And over more than 5,000 live online chat conversations with residents this year, the average customer satisfaction rate is 91 percent.
“So if you go to the city’s website or go to the Citizen Service Center website, you can access one of my reps via live chat without even having to go through the process of making a phone call or submitting a service request. We’ll do that for you through that conversation,” Templeton said.
When residents call, “It’s about 26 seconds on average that you will have somebody speaking to you on the phone,” she said.
The CSC is open on Fridays, while much of the city government is closed, as well as most city holidays.
The Citizen Service Center can be reached from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at (626) 744-7311, or online at cityofpasadena.net/csc.
Tuesday’s Municipal Services Committee meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. in at City Council Chambers.