After months of building and beta-testing with City staff, the City has launched its new and redesigned website. The new website is meant to not only replace the predecessor, but it will serve as a Virtual City Hall, bringing all City services to residents through a website and mobile app.
The COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for City staff to start developing a strategy for residents to communicate and conduct City business from the comfort and safety of their own homes. As the pandemic subsides and businesses and offices open up to the public, the need for mobile communication and to conduct business online has only increased with no signs of slowing down.
The launch serves as Phase 1 of the overall Virtual City Hall mobile service that will be available to residents. In this phase, several key services will be made available such as Geographic Information System story mapping, Contract Bidding Portal, City Jobs Portal, Virtual 311 Service Request and Work Order Management System, Code and Parking Enforcement Case Management System, and a City Council Meeting & Agenda Center. In addition, the new Virtual City Hall includes ADA compliancy and features, Smart Document Viewers, and translation to multiple languages.
“This is truly exciting for all of us as we develop this new method of communication and accessibility for our residents,” said City Manager Steve Carmona. “Our staff has been working and developing Virtual City Hall, and I believe our residents will appreciate our efforts in becoming more accessible and more transparent with the modules that Virtual City Hall will eventually offer.”
With the new Virtual City Hall website and app available to residents, City Staff will be working on developing and implementing more modules in Phase 2 of this project. Future modules include a Central Bill Pay Management Portal, Citywide Events Calendar, Rental Registry and Inspection Program, Municipal Permits and Licensing, Digital Plan Checking, Business License Management, Crime and Safety Data Dashboard, Legislative Tracking Tools, Parks and Recreation Registration and Reservations, and more.
Virtual City Hall will minimize the exposure to COVID-19 or any other common airborne illness by allowing residents to conduct City Business virtually, thereby eliminating the need to visit City Hall. Virtual City Hall will Enhance City Services and Operations, allowing Staff to work more efficiently and provide services to residents with ease. With more virtual access, Virtual City Hall will increase transparency allowing the public to track progress on capital infrastructure projects, road maintenance, and other citywide performance metrics.
Finally, the new Virtual Hall System will improve the internal and external user experience by consolidating several current programs and software systems into a more user-friendly system where individual residents, businesses, visitors, and stakeholders can view, track and manage nearly every city-related transaction from a single, easy-to-use portal.
“We are embracing technology here in the City. If there is any way we can use it to benefit our residents and make conducting City business easier, we will to its full extent,” said City Manager Steve Carmona.
Visit the new Virtual City Hall at pico-rivera.org, and download the Virtual City Hall app, available on both Apple and Android platforms.