Fix it Friday: Image Problems

It’s another installment of “Fix It Friday” — a series in which each blog post examines a different issue commonly faced by local government and successfully resolved through the adoption of GovPilot.


Whether it’s named the best in the state or the most violent , your city’s reputation precedes it. Despite what Joan Jett says, you should give a damn about your reputation. Indeed, public perception determines whether residents want to leave or flock, whether entrepreneurs want to set-up or close shop and whether tourists want to vacation or vamoose.

As permanent as public perception may feel, it can be changed with a GovPilot intervention and a bit of reinvention. Presenting 2 common image problems and their GovPilot-enabled solutions.


The Issue

As you read through the following archetypes, please keep in mind that no matter your city’s reputation, it can always be improved.

1. The Boring Borough

Like a live action Norman Rockwell painting, the Boring Borough is a place where the days are slow, the streets are quiet and everyone knows their neighbors. The Boring Borough may be the perfect place to settle down, but it is not an exciting place to stop by. For this reason, the Borough misses out on the parking-related revenue generation opportunities that busier cities enjoy.

  1. The Ghost Town

Nearly a decade after the housing bubble collapse, its impact can be seen in the overgrown lawns and broken windows of the vacant and abandoned properties that plague ghost towns across the United States. Property vacancy and abandonment is a snowballing issue. Property values plummet as more residents flee in droves. After all, life in a Ghost Town is not just disheartening, but dangerous, exposing residents to a heightened risk of fire and disease. The Ghost Town’s plummeting property values are often compounded by the expense of maintaining vacant and abandoned homes.

The Solution

Fortunately, GovPilot’s extensive process catalog offers multiple solutions to the image problems plaguing these two types of towns.

1. The Boring Borough

A bustling downtown district can breathe new life into the Boring Borough and GovPilot offers several digital forms that promote economic development.

Digital Theater License, Sidewalk Cafe and general Commercial Business application forms remain on the Borough’s official website for entrepreneurs to complete at their convenience.

A lively entertainment district can transform the Boring Borough into a Bustling Borough. For that, GovPilot offers a slew of parking pass, permit and meter-related solutions to minimize chaos and maximize revenue.

2. The Ghost Town

As described earlier, the Ghost Town’s vacant and abandoned properties create a multitude of problems for government and constituents alike. Fortunately, there are multiple routes to resolution. GovPilot has a short cut for each one.

Governments’ traditional approach to vacant property management involves identifying the homeowner, bank and law firm involved — a long and difficult process streamlined by GovPilot’s digital vacant property registration forms. Form data is stored in GovPilot’s secure, web-based server, where it can be accessed by all relevant government employees and illustrated on a geographic information system (GIS) map. Used internally, the map is an effective tool for trend recognition and analysis. Turned toward the public, it can be utilized to inform prospective buyers about vacant homes on the market. GovPilot’s auction capabilities bring some much-needed revenue into a town financially drained by vacant property maintenance.

A growing number of governments are choosing to demolish vacant properties and use the lot as soil for a community garden. GovPilot forms can be fashioned into digital applications for those looking to establish a new community garden or volunteer to tend an existing one. As discussed in a previous blog post, the presence of a community garden has been known to lower crime rates, boost morale and completely transform a neighborhood’s reputation.

GovPilot offers 100+ processes to help your city transform from a negative archetype to a success story. Download our brochure to find ones that fit your unique needs.