By George P. Hassett
Daily life in New England’s most densely populated city can have its share of headaches and frustrations. However, perennial urban nuisances such as noise, traffic and unleashed dogs can be solved with cooperation and interaction between residents and city officials, according to Stephanie Hirsch, director of the city’s new ResiStat program, an offshoot of the SomerStat program.
SomerStat, which is modeled off of Baltimore’s CitiStat program, is a database-driven management tool that requires city departments to track information about all of their activities and to examine that information aggressively. City officials gather and process raw information such as financial records and departmental reports. This information is entered into a database, which allows the departments and city staff to track the details of municipal operations from the time it takes to fill a pothole to how much money is being spent on overtime pay. The SomerStat staff then analyzes the data and presents trends and statistics at regular meetings of the department heads.