By Jeff Gallatin
City officials have sent an important text to those interested in getting updates on community events in North Olmsted: Please re-opt back into the VIP Text program if you want to keep receiving the updates.
Safety-service Director Scott Thomas said the re-opting was required by the Federal Communications Commission after recent passage of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. City officials set up VIP Text several months ago as a means for people to get important information texted to them by the city during major weather events or other out-of-the-ordinary events.
Thomas said the federal legislation required re-opting to ensure that people were interested in receiving that kind of information from North Olmsted.
“It’s just another step in the process,” he said. “The new legislation requires that people choose to re-opt back into the program even if they’ve already shown an interest in getting it. They will have to do so again, to keep getting the information sent to them via the texts.”
Thomas said taking the additional step to notify residents about the change is beneficial for the city and its citizens.
“Re-opting still doesn’t stop our primary goal of making sure people have access to important information during a major storm or weather event or some unforeseen major accident or event which affects the community and people in it,” he said. “We just want to make sure people have different ways of being able to keep themselves informed.”
To re-opt, people should text the message T724 to 36000.
“They still kept it pretty simple to get back on the list, which is good. We want to make it as easy as possible,” he said.
Thomas said beyond the standard data rates or costs that apply to a person’s texting usage, there is no additional cost for participating in the program.
“This isn’t being done to make money, it’s there to keep people informed,” he said.