O'Fallon Progress

Never underestimate the value of communication

Herb Roach
Herb Roach

You can never underestimate the value of communication. The city works diligently to “push” information to all of our residents and businesses, and we have set up many easy ways for everyone to contact the city — all with the goal in mind of keeping everyone informed, updated, and well served.

The No. 1 tool the city has is its website, ofallon.org. Our website is organized to be an easy to use virtual “City Hall” that is open 24/7. If you are unable to find what you are looking for on the city’s website, I encourage you to call City Hall, anytime Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 618-624-4500.

Facebook and other forms of social media have revolutionized the way everyone shares and acquires information, news, and stories. Social media has also revolutionized the way in which the city of O’Fallon communicates with all of you.

If you have not already, please “Like” the city’s Facebook page to receive important information, updates, and of course, some interesting stories. Many city departments also have social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor, and you can locate many of them by visiting the city’s website.

In addition to social media, the city uses press releases (sign up at ofallon.org/subscribe), The Inside O’Fallon Newsletter and the Downtown O’Fallon Newsletter (sign up for both at goo.gl/AP6yHp), and YouTube to help keep everyone informed of what is going on in O’Fallon.

In addition to news and updates, we also publish all of the city’s public meetings online. If you are interested in what the City Council and other boards are doing, please go to boarddocs.com/il/ofallon/Board.nsf. You can sign up to receive notifications every time an agenda is published at goo.gl/kz6gv6. You can also watch the O’Fallon City Council Meetings live on Charter Channel 993 or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, or anytime on demand through the city’s website.

Last, but not least, in the event of an emergency, the city utilizes the CodeRED system to notify residents. I highly encourage you to sign up to receive CodeRED messages.

As you can see, the city works hard to provide residents with information. But, we know that the road to good communications is not a one-way street. That is why we have set up many simple and easy to use ways for our residents to contact the city and provide input, ask questions, or make service requests.

Please contact your elected officials to voice your questions, concerns, or opinions. Their contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, can be found at ofallon.org/elected-officials. Or if you prefer to speak to all of O’Fallon’s elected officials at once, I invite you to speak at any City Council or committee meeting during the public comment section.

I also want to remind everyone that I am now hosting weeknight and weekend hours, as well as quarterly town halls, throughout the year.

For service-related requests (weeds, potholes, etc.), the best way to notify the city is by using the citizen inquiry system, which is easy and can be done 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Simply go to ofallon.org and click on the “Contact Us” button in the Citizen Action Center. The page that opens will display a number of different service requests, which are based on the type of issue.

Once submitted, the service request is automatically entered into O’Fallon’s Cityworks Program and an alert is sent to the proper department notifying them of the new request.

Each citizen inquiry request is cataloged in the Cityworks Program and reviewed by the department it is assigned to. The city of O’Fallon Administration Department monitors the workflow, ensuring that each request is properly acknowledged. The goal of the system is to provide a response within two business days to citizens requesting follow up.

The citizen inquiry service is for non-emergency issues. If the issue is an emergency, please use the telephone and dial 911.

We are always looking for ways to improve citizen engagement and make it easier for O’Fallon residents to contact the city. I am excited to announce that we are now working on a mobile application that will make it easier to interact with the city or elected officials, submit service requests, sign up for parks programs, rent a pavilion, pay a water bill, and much more, all from your cell phone or other mobile device. We will have more information about this in the coming months, please be on the look-out, or better yet, sign up to receive notices and other updates.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.