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There’s an app for that: Lodi residents can check utility bills from an iPhone

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Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:55 am, Tue Mar 22, 2011.

Have you ever been on your way to pay your city of Lodi utility bill when you realized you have no idea how much you owe? The city has an app for that.

Lodi recently unveiled a new application that will let you check your bill from your phone.

The city’s Information Systems division designed it, and plan to expand it to other phones as well as add on features in the future, said Steve Mann, the division manager.

“We thought it would be a good customer service to modify or adapt the online page to the iPhone. This makes it a little bit easier because we know people don’t drag their computers around with them,” Mann said.

The application allows customers to review their bills, and the information is as current as the previous business day. To download the app, open iTunes and type “city of Lodi” into the store.

About a dozen people have already downloaded it, Mann said.

One online reviewer named “Lod1man” gave the app five stars, and said it is a good starting point. But the reviewer also said the app should allow customers to pay their bill or print it.

Those are features the city is considering and could come in the future, Mann said. The app eventually might show residents their water or electric usage, he said.

He also hopes the city can expand the app to other phones, like Droid, he said.

“We are doing as much as we can with our current staffing, and that’s a totally different development environment, and something we have to learn,” Mann said.

During the past couple of years, the city of Lodi has embraced technology, especially social media. The city has a blog, a Twitter account and a Facebook page. The Lodi Police Department also has a Twitter account.

The city is continuously working on improving and expanding its online presence, because that is what people expect, Mann said.

“People are adapting their lives more and more to technologies like Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone. We believe that good government is customer-centric, and we try to provide the best customer service that we can,” he said.

Councilman Larry Hansen owns an iPhone, but said he has not had a chance to check out the new app. He said it will be another way to utilize technology and provide easy access for customers.

“I’m looking forward to the day when you can turn a heater on and off with your iPhone. That technology is right around the corner, but we just don’t have it yet,” he said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/city_buzz.

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6 comments:

  • Josh Morgan posted at 12:07 pm on Wed, Mar 23, 2011.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 529

    Look Doug.....I made a very simple comment and was hopefully a bit humorous. You go off on one of your tiring, repetitive tirades. You continue to regurgitate the same old story with no supportive facts. You've been telling us for years that there were going to be arrests, arraignments, convictions, grand jury indictments, etc. I really feel sorry for you. It is a real burden to carry all of that paranoia on your shoulders.

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:19 am on Wed, Mar 23, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Mr. Morgan, why did you post something as ridiculous as you did? These issues, past and present, that have destroyed Lodi's image need to be owned up to and let those responsible for such waste, such as this app for the utility, man up and give real justification for this constant Lodi city council fervor for wasteful and unneeded spending on the backs of residential ratepayers. The new garbage rates posted in the paper today, so why not an app showing just how much Waste Management will reap this year in additional profits? And what that will amount to with those 7 additional contract years, for which councilmen Hansen, Johnson and Katzakian were 3 of those who voted yes to accept that million dollar "gift" from Waste Management. And why do these council reps continue doing the billing for this billion dollar corporation? For a paltry $200K or so that doesn't even cover postage for the year and simple billing for this private corporation? This was done originally as a courtesy to the original local garbage company and should,'t have carried on to this billion dollar corporation. Is there a chance that portions of that "windfall" could be going into the wrong pockets? Just keep voting for these fools unless you're unwilling to accept the constant financial burdens these 3 dominating voters have placed upon many Lodi families that can least afford it, especially those eastside residents, mostly minority, yet these pet projects and expenditures are all westside and local developer controlled. I don't want to knock you, but make you and all other Sentinel readers aware of the corruption in this little town controlled by the wealthy interests in the good old boys club, and whose well planned schemes are seemingly carried out by the 3 yes votes of the 3 amigos.

     
  • Josh Morgan posted at 11:25 pm on Tue, Mar 22, 2011.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 529

    What in the world does your response have to do with my comment? Your paranoia is wheeling out of control. You better get yourself under control.

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:55 pm on Tue, Mar 22, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    So Mr. Morgan, you're happy with the old sad sacks, Hansen, Johnson and Katzakian and paying the tab for those polluters like the Weybrets and Katzakian, Hansen's poor power buy that has Lodi electric payers paying some of the highest residential rates in the nation, Johnson, Hansen and katzakian and their million dollar gift from Waste Management to upgrade the Grape Bowl in return for a 7 year extension on their garbage contract and rate raises guaranteed? And now the unneeded water treatment plant voted on by these three shysters to be paid by taxpayers of Lodi rather than the original plan of being paid for by redevelopment fees? I know where you stand in the 21st century. Are you related to or a business associate of any of these corrupted triplets?

     
  • Josh Morgan posted at 6:41 pm on Tue, Mar 22, 2011.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 529

    Come on Doug.......become part of the 21st century.

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:45 am on Tue, Mar 22, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    What an absolute waste of time, funds and staff on such a ridiculous "upgrade" as this by Mr. Mann? Just how many Lodians have smart phones, especially ATT iphone service? Good to see that Hansen can see his high utility bill on his iphone on his way to make a payment? LOL. Mr Hansen should use that iphone to answer his emails from me that he has constantly ignored concerning those high electric bills for rersidential ratepayers in Lodi due to his poor judgement in being one of the major players of the power buy in 2005-2006 that nearly bankrupted Lodi electric and sent them some $200 million into debt, and sending residential ratepayers electric bills some 70% or so higher to cover up for his mistake. Now being chair of the dysfunctional, who brokered the deal with the help of Hansen, supposedly, the NCPA has one of its "family" as Lodi electric director, who I assume merely takes her directions from the NCPA and Hansen, keeping Lodi residential ratepayers some of the highest in the nation.

     

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