ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's a way for the city of Rochester to better connect with its residents - through your phone or computer.
In March, the city rolled out a new public engagement platform called "Polco." The city paid over $5,000 for the online platform that allows residents to directly provide input on the local government decision-making process.
That’s something Rajiv Misra thinks is a good idea.
“In some ways it's good you can give feedback to the people,” he said.
Since the launch, residents were able to answer questions on how they think the city is doing. More than half think the Rochester fire and police departments are performing well. Over 40% think the Med-City is a good place to raise a family.
“Once you give the feedback, how is this going to be processed and who processes it or what priorities are they going to get processed?” he asked.
The city of Rochester looks at the feedback and sees what it can improve on.
One result shows that 37% of residents don't think Rochester is a place to retire. That's a long-standing issue city employee Jenna Bowman says the city is addressing.
“The city, as well as the county and the Rochester Area Foundation and Mayo, have the coalition on housing, so it reaffirms I think in that way that we know it's a priority for the community and the city is taking an active role on that topic,” said Bowman.
She says the city is all ears.
“Sometimes people can be surprised just how much impact they can have on local government,” she said.