April 27, 2007 By News Report
The City of San Carlos announced that it has received the National 2006-2007 Technology Achievement Award in the Web Services-Small Jurisdiction category (under 100,000 population) from the Public Technology Institute (PTI) based in Washington, D.C. The award was given after a panel of independent judges reviewed award nominations submitted by PTI member cities and counties. Award winners will be recognized at the 2007 PTI Technology Leadership Conference, May 6-8 at the Adam's Mark hotel in Denver.
According to San Carlos City Clerk Christine Boland "I have received many accolades from city commissioners and the public about how wonderful it is to have access to this information "24/7." The ePacket and indexed video and minutes technology on the city Web site is what makes all of that possible."
PTI Executive Director Alan Shark said "The Annual Technology Solution Awards competition rewards those PTI member local governments that can demonstrate how they apply technology to improve service delivery, reduce operating costs or create new revenue opportunities."
Shark went on to note that "The awardees and entrants will receive recognition from PTI, but the real beneficiaries are our city and county citizens."
In the nomination written by San Carlos Information Technology Manager Connie Dillard, ePacket is highlighted for its ability to give residents online access to the agenda, individual staff reports and complete agenda packet for the City Council and several city commissions. The award also recognizes the work that the San Carlos city staff from Information Technology Division, City Manager's Office and City Clerk's Department has done in providing residents with indexed videos and minutes of City Council meetings, the mayor's wrap-up videos of Council meeting highlights and key city events as well as eNotification e-mail updates (now providing over 5,800 eNotify subscribers with over 30 types of updates) and RSS feeds of city videos, MP3 podcasts and news items.
Over the last few years, the San Carlos staff has worked with vendors such as Sire, Civica and Granicus to pioneer and develop many of these new features including RSS feeds, indexed videos, ePacket and audio and video podcasting. These tools and technologies help the San Carlos staff keep their residents informed as to what is going on in their City.
The PTI Technology Achievement Award to San Carlos joins a number of earlier City of San Carlos programs that have won PTI Technology Achievement Awards in past years. These include police Car digital video and audio recording systems, low-cost Web site software, the Corporation Yard Solar Project, Visioning Downtown San Carlos, Smartpermit, Technology Goes to School and the Cost Avoidance Reserve.
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.