2019-02-07 / Community News

City adopts public platform

The city of Biddeford announced the launch of Polco, an engagement platform where residents can provide input to the local government decision-making process. City officials will post questions directly to residents on Polco’s website and app, where residents can answer and comment on the questions.

“We are excited to offer this new opportunity to hear feedback from our community members,” said City Manager James Bennett in a press release. “Not everyone is able to attend and participate in public meetings, but that doesn’t mean that their voices should not be heard. With Polco, we can post questions on social media or on our website to meet residents where they already are.”

The city has launched the platform by asking residents about their usage of Biddeford’s public parks. Residents can begin giving input by downloading the Polco app for Android or iOS, or by visiting https://polco.us/biddeford and creating an account. The service is free.

Residents will be asked to enter their name, zip code and email address. Polco asks for this information to verify that participants are registered voters in Biddeford, and so that they can receive notifications when the city asks new questions. Residents’ individual information is never shared and cannot be accessed by the city or other users.

“One of the unique aspects of Polco is that all responses are posted anonymously by default, and users can only see the results of the poll question once they have already provided their feedback,” Bennett said. “We hope that these features encourage community members to feel comfortable sharing their honest opinions.”

New questions will be posted to Polco every few weeks.

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