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Improving 311 System in Wheeling

What was supposed to be a convenience for Wheeling residents seeking help from municipal government is viewed by many as “a waste of time,” Councilman Ben Seidler reported last week. That needs to change.

In explaining the problem to fellow council members, Seidler, who has served for only a month, offered to take the lead in rectifying it.

He referred to the 311 online citizen request system, launched in January 2019. The idea was to make it easy for Wheeling residents to report concerns such as potholes needing repair and rundown properties. The 311 program also was aimed at improving city response to such issues.

But Seidler said some of his constituents tell him that “when they log complaints, they don’t get a response and they don’t get a resolution.”

It appears the online system may not be functioning as intended, Seidler added. City employees “are doing everything they can” to address residents’ concerns, but the 311 program is not reflecting that, he said.

City Manager Robert Herron responded that, “We are going to be working toward improving staff performance on the 311 system …” For his part, Seidler has offered to help.

Good. As Seidler requested, correcting the situation needs to be a priority. As it stands, the 311 system sounds like a problem, not a solution.

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