April 19, 2012 By Wayne Hanson
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Last week, Sacramento City Manager John F. Shirey addressed a meeting of the City Clerks Association of California (CCAC), saying that the title “city clerk” should be changed, as it does not reflect the importance of the job. “You are in the information business,” he said, “and need to maximize the use of technology.”
And in that respect, Shirey and the city of Sacramento are fortunate. City Clerk Shirley Concolino – who is also CCAC president – and her iPad-toting staff have for some years now pushed a digital agenda, including digital signatures. At the CCAC meeting, they presented technology solutions to clerks from around the state, including staff-produced instructional videos for political candidates, and the replacement of council member agenda packets with digital copies for iPads and Kindle readers, which saved $1,500 per year per council member.
Concolino and her staff even brought in representatives from Apple to show CCAC members the latest in mobile device management, iPads with built-in VPN, iPad apps that run Microsoft Office, and the Apple Configurator that synchronizes up to 30 devices at once. The message was clear: mobile devices are here to stay, and getting on the leading edge means welcoming them, taking advantage of their potential and managing them for best results.
This week, according to Assistant City Clerk Dawn Bullwinkel, the Sacramento City Clerk’s Office is meeting with city stakeholders and preparing an "outside the box" technology infrastructure proposal for Shirey.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.