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Chandler residents can fight graffiti, blight via text message

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — To further its effort to make the city “free from blight,” an East Valley suburb made it easier for residents to report graffiti and other code violations.

Chandler launched a program this month for people to lodge complaints about eyesores in the city via text message.

“Our ultimate goal is just to make sure that Chandler is free from blight, and it does involve, really, the entire community to help us reach that goal,” Stephen Erno, the city’s neighborhood services manager, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Erno said the new system adds convenience to the process and is more likely to engage younger people, who are more accustomed to communicating through text messaging than other methods.

“People are busy. Sometimes they’ll see an issue, they’ll see some graffiti on a wall or something, but they don’t want to take the time to call but oftentimes they’ll take the time to do the texting,” Erno said.

“So we’re hoping that it will, basically, increase our eyes out on the city for us so we can get issues resolved more quickly.”

Texts sent to Chandler’s graffiti hotline at 480-782-4322 and the code enforcement hotline at 480-782-4320 will be answered by staff during business hours.

Residents are asked to include their name, address, phone number and the location of the violation.

Erno said staff members have been trained to interact with texters in a friendly and professional manner and initiate prompt responses by the city.

“Our goal is to respond within two business days to that concern, to be out there an actually have our first look at the issue,” he said.

“Typically we’re actually responding either the same day or within one business day at the most.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

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