CALIMESA, Calif., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Your next planning question in the Riverside County city of Calimesa might be answered by an expert who is miles from the City's planning counter. Through the use of existing technology, residents of Calimesa can speak to and see a planner immediately from the Calimesa Planning offices via a live video link. The new system increases coverage at the planning counter from a day or two a week to full time, without increasing costs to the City.
"Planners have been available by phone, but the video conference aspect is new and much more personal," says PMC's Director of Planning Jerry Guarracino. "The video system is much friendlier, and people love using it."
Unlike a phone call, the video link also allows the sharing of sketches or photographs. Combined with email and information available on the City's web site, the video system offers a robust, easy-to-use way for residents and businesses to communicate with city hall. The live video link allows short questions to be answered immediately, while a follow-up appointment can be scheduled for more involved issues.
According to City Manager Randy Anstine, "This is a great example of how Calimesa is using technology to provide improved, friendly customer service to our residents. We appreciate the imagination and creativity of PMC, our planning services provider, who brought this system to Calimesa."
Said Councilman Bill Davis, who tried the system when it was launched in October, "I was very impressed."
Aside from the wow factor, the system also saves the City money.
"Ordinarily, to cover the public counter, we would have a planner more or less waiting around for the next question or project," says PMC's Guarracino. "In this case, the City only pays for the 10 or 15 minutes used to actually answer the question or schedule a meeting."
Certainly there is a time and place for personal meetings, and PMC is scheduled to be in the City regularly, but this new system enables that time to be used more efficiently. The new planning program is one more example of the City living up to its "Rise and Shine" motto.
Contact: Randy Anstine (909) 795-9801
Contact: Eric Norris (530) 574-4875