City: Let fingers do the complaining

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was as nervous Thursday as he was back in the days when he defended mobsters in court.


He had to use an iPad.

The technologically challenged mayor demonstrated a new city service that lets people report graffiti, potholes, stray animals, green pools and other nonemergency problems using mobile devices such as cell phones and smart phones — basically, any device that connects to the Internet.

“I still don’t know what a Facebook is, or a tweeter,” said Goodman, referring to Twitter.

“If I can do this, anybody in the community can do it.”

The city’s technology staff built the site, which is at

There are two links there: One says, “Report a problem,” and one says, “Check the status of a problem.”

Goodman used the first option.

“We’re going to report a problem,” he said, and touched the link on the touchscreen. “Watch this.”

Nothing happened.

It was operator error, though, and Goodman got the link to work and reported a mock graffiti call on Robin Street near Washington Avenue. The message went to a staff member in the room within seconds.

The service went online recently and has not been widely advertised yet, but staff members have answered about 100 reports from people’s phones. Most of those have been potholes, graffiti and stagnant pools.

In addition to accepting reports concerning problems inside the city limits, the site directs people to the appropriate local government if they enter a location that is outside of Las Vegas.

If someone entered an address in Henderson, for example, it would bring up a series of links to Henderson’s city services and a phone number.

Goodman bought an iPad for his wife but needed lessons to use it himself: “The city has expended about $43 million in the last two weeks trying to teach me how to use this thing,” he quipped. “The whole staff’s involved!”

He really only needed three sessions, he said later.

“I can sleep tonight,” a relieved Goodman said at the end of the presentation.

“I’m glad I did it. I’m glad it’s over. I’ll never use an iPad again.”

Contact reporter Alan Choate at or 702-229-6435.

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