The Aurora City Council is set to vote Tuesday night on renewing a three-year contract with a technology company that analyzes the city’s social media responses.
The $264,000 contract with Zencity Technologies US Inc. would keep the company overseeing the city’s use of social media to gauge public opinion on city issues.
Another component of the company’s service would be to help develop and analyze surveys the city might take.
Aurora has had a contract with Zencity since 2019. The company looks at “everyone who interacts with (the city’s) social media channels … so we can see how residents view the city,” according to Tony Martinez, the city’s communications director.
Martinez has said when the city makes big decisions, has big topics before it, officials can see what people are thinking, based on how they make their feelings known on social media.
City officials have described Zencity’s work as a data tool, allowing the city to make data-driven decisions.
While aldermen were concerned that the price for Zencity has almost doubled – from about $49,000 a year to about $88,000 a year – city officials said much of that is due to the city adding the component that Zencity does surveys for the city.
One example of how Zencity worked well for the city was development of the Senior Shovel program that provides snow shoveling for seniors and disabled people who cannot do it themselves, city officials said.
Aldermen put the Zencity contract on the consent agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting, meaning it is likely to be approved.