Howard County Executive Ken Ulman recently unveiled Howard County’s newest tool for connecting citizens with their government:
a mobile and web-based application called “Tell HoCo.”
“Tell HoCo” allows Howard County residents and visitors to report non-emergency problems – such as potholes, graffiti, downed tree limbs and traffic signal issues, among others – to the appropriate county government representative, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Via the app, citizens can use their smart phones to snap a photo, send a report, and track its progress.
“Today, we are taking the step to make Howard County more responsive, more innovative, and more efficient, than ever before,” said Executive Ulman. “We will be crowd-sourcing a better County.” Added Howard County Councilperson Courtney Watson: “This is a great tool to help our communities connect better with their government. Howard County’s hard-working employees, as always, are ready to help as much as they can.”
The “Tell HoCo” app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store or from Google play. Users can make anonymous reports if they desire, after they register. Additionally, links to the web version of “Tell HoCo” will now be prominently included on the Howard County government website.
Once issues are identified, the person making the report receives updates on its progress. Users can also check to see what issues have been reported in their communities. “The ‘Tell HoCo’ app is also a perfect internal management tool,” Executive Ulman said. “Our public works department and recreation and parks staff have been using it for a couple of months to track their work and monitor their progress. This is eliminating paperwork, and making our crews more efficient.”
Howard County Councilperson Jen Terrasa said it was important for the County to embrace technology to help citizens. “We need to stay on the cutting edge, and this app will help us work together toward a better future,” she said.