A new online tool allowing Southampton Town residents to submit quality of life complaints or requests for service digitally is expected to be unveiled in a few weeks.
Once it is launched, Southampton Online Solutions, or SOS, would allow residents to electronically file complaints about excessive noise and overcrowded homes, or alert authorities about downed trees and garbage on town property, using their cellphones or personal computers. By filling out an online form on the town’s website, residents can alert officials about a problem and provide an exact location, either by submitting an address or pointing to an area on a map. From there, they can also upload photos of the problem and offer additional comments before submitting their complaint to the town.
The uploaded complaint will then be directed toward the appropriate department, such as the Southampton Town Highway Department if a person is writing about a dangerous pothole, while Town Board members will receive weekly emails updating them on the status of the repairs.
According to Southampton Town Geographic Information Systems manager Ross Baldwin and Town Assistant Cartographer James Gormley, the application’s creators, the complaints can be submitted anonymously or residents can provide their contact information and receive updates. However, because every submission will have a case number attached to it, even anonymous submitters can keep track of the progress of their request.
Mr. Baldwin explained that the online tool will create a unified system for service requests within the town, making it easier for officials to track and monitor their status.
“It’s not just a sheet of paper somewhere that can get lost—it’s added into the system,” he said while addressing board members at the most recent Town Board work session on March 9. “There’s a number of eyeballs on it.”
Mr. Baldwin also pointed out that residents can continue to phone in complaints, or visit Town Hall and fill out the required paperwork, once SOS is up and running. Mr. Baldwin added that the online service should not be used in emergency situations, when residents should continue to directly contact police.
The application will become available on the town’s website, www.southamptontownny.gov, in a few weeks, according to Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.