John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

Savvy Citizen Notification Survey Summary

This survey asked the opinion of Newtown residents about using the Savvy Citizen Mobile Notification System (learn more about it here).

As of December 9, 2019, 143 responses have been received.

Q: Would you opt-in to a FREE Township notification service such as Savvy Citizen?

87% of all respondents say they would opt-in to a mobile notification service such as Savvy Citizen. Only 7% said "No" and 6% were not sure.
Q: If you answered "Yes", please indicate if you prefer to receive notices via a cell phone app, text message, or email.
Q: If you answered "Yes", what types of messages would you be interested in receiving?
  • Police activity, emergency alerts, board/committee meeting notices and agenda, community events, road closure
  • Road conditions in snow, any emergency alerts, new proposed buildings and/or businesses
  • Meetings
  • Text message preferred about   Events, emergencies, warnings, town watches, school closings, and anything else that pertains to our neighborhood and surrounding areas would be great.
  • Notices of meetings with agendas, extreme weather notices. Probably would prefer an app. But were would the money be taken from? I don't want any additional expenditures that would increase my taxes
  • I'm in favor of free emergency notifications (text preferred), except for those relating to community events. A community event is NOT an emergency & frequent notifications will dilute the impact and attention given notifications by residents. We can all find out about community events by other means (newspaper, Patch, FaceBook, etc). Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback!
  • I work in NJ but my son is at CRSD and it would be helpful to receive notifications about what is going on in our town so if I need to get back in the area I can.
  • Only emergencies, no non-emergencies
  • It’s a great idea. If not now, in this environment both weather related or g-d forbid something more sinister, then when
Responses to Comments Not in Favor

The few respondents who were not in favor or unsure of the township subscribing to Savvy Citizen cited two main concerns:

  1. Cost, and
  2. Too may notifications

These concerns are addressed below:

COMMENT: I would rather see effort/resources put into adding such information to the township website where it is accessible to all. We are already bombarded by other school, sports and social media apps with notifications/emails/robocalls of which only a small percentage apply to us. Soon they get ignored and you miss those that are really important. I would ask, how many messages/communications are really important enough that residents need to see them on a daily basis? Is a comprehensive Newtown website calendar with hot links sufficient for most? Maybe at most, a weekly summary email of meeting schedules? A busy working family has too much on their plate to read all this stuff. But unfortunately how these things work is, you must get all notifications, to make sure you get the one that actually pertains to you.

RESPONSE: You do NOT need to receive ALL notifications. Users can opt-in to receive only specific notifications. The categories to choose from include (1) emergency/public safety/utility outage notices, (2) roadwork and traffic alerts, (3) public meetings and special event notices, and (4) municipal news (ordinances, resolutions, committee vacancies, etc.). In any case, it is anticipated that on average only 5-10 such notices per month would be sent. In addition, there would be a calendar for Parks and Recreation activities and public meeting notices.

COMMENT: Question 2 is misleading if the township has to pay for a luxury service such as proposed. We had lived and can still live without it. No Tax and Spend Democrats. Hold the line on taxes!

RESPONSE: The estimated cost is $2,241 annually, including a one-time marketing, setup fee of $600 for a total of $2,841. To cover the cost, Savvy Citizen offers a sponsorship program. If there is a local business that is interested in paying for Newtown’s Savvy Citizen subscription, then that business, in return, would receive a small clickable ad on notifications sent to residents. It is anticipated that a sponsor will be found. 

For sponsorship deatils, download the promotion sheet here.

Other Comments
  • important to me.   who benefits/profits?  are there better alternatives? Any analysis of competitors?  security of info stored on their servers?  transparency?  any contracts - can we get out if not up to expectations?  however good idea overall - prefer to have text/email/app choice/phone call - not all have these options...     how to opt in everyone?  during voting perhaps
  • It's a great idea, but I wonder whether people will care enough to use it. People generally don't pay attention to local government because, for the most part, they find it not important enough to override other priorities -- until an issue represents an immediate threat to them.    The price, however, seems worth an experiment.    Text messages seem to me to be the best way to gain a subscriber's attention, but too many may be a turn-off.
  • It would be so helpful to receive important notifications from Newtown Township via text message. I would definitely download the app and sign up. I hope this will happen to keep Newtown residents as informed as possible.
  • In 2020, this is a 'no brainer' question.
  • Most definitely need it
  • It's important to do on your cell phone this way they will get some message right away if you use Facebook or something else like that they might not get it for several hours telephone they can hear ringing and be able to see it's an emergency
  • It's about time... Text And home phone
  • Email and text with the ability to turn off what I desire at any time
  • I would like to be able to list home land line and two cell phone numbers. I often do not have the cell phone turned on and use the land line most of the time.
  • I prefer email or text. I find social media posts can get buried and you don't see in time.
  • Prefer to receive via text message.  FB algorithm often delays messages perhaps until the following day or days later.
  • Text first, followed by email notification. I receive and respond to text messages quicker than emails.

Your Input Is Still Important

If you have not taken the survey, your input is still important considering the above, so please take this short survey to let me know if you would opt-in to such a FREE service if it were available.

No identifying information is collected via this survey unless you opt-in to provide such information for purposes of follow-up by subscribing to John Mack's email newsletter.

DISCLAIMER: This is not an official Newtown Township approved survey. Its purpose is solely to inform John Mack – a Newtown Supervisor – of the public’s opinion regarding this issue.


This site is paid for and approved by John Mack:
The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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