SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The City of Santa Maria has launched a new app to provide up-to-date information and alerts to residents and businesses.
Presented on the Simplicity platform, the app is free, easy to use, is available in both English and Spanish, and posts in real time with push alerts sent immediately to a subscribers smartphone or tablet.
"It's going to be better communication between the city and its residents and businesses," said Mark van de Kamp, Santa Maria Public Information Manager.
"If you want to know what's happening as the city continues to pump news through news releases, those will pop up and you have the option of different categories on the app, including, you can have adults, you can have youth, there's probably six, seven or eight of them, so you can choose what you want to get and these will go out to your phone as we send them out."
The city currently disseminates information through press releases that are posted a variety of outlets, including its website and social media.
However, the Simplicity app will provide the city of Santa Maria with another way to reach people through a commonly used device.
"It's more clear lines of communication between the city and its residents," said van de Kamp. "We have a website, but we want to go to the next step in push it out to those who want to get it on their phone, rather than take the time, go to the website and check it out."
"We recognize that smartphones are really the go-to for everyone, most everyone has them all day long. They're checking and so you can be altered, say maybe there's a road closure, or there's an event that's coming up, or the city has done something, or there's some events coming up like Concerts in the Park, or Downtown Fridays, it will show up right there."
Information on the app will include news from all city departments, including city hall, Police and Fire, Recreation and Parks, Library and more.
"All of our departments who put out news will be on this platform and it's continuing to evolve," said van de Kamp. "There is kind of a catch-all where you can go, it says City Hall updates and you can look in that categories and a lot of the news is there."
Users can download the Simplicity mobile application from the Google Play store or Apple’s App store, choose their city of residence, and notification preferences.