September 11, 2008 By Wayne Hanson
Paul J. Cosgrave, commissioner of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, participated yesterday in an online forum hosted by The New York Times. The subject was the city's 311 system which handles complaints and information requests from residents.
Cosgrove pointed out that one caller asked for the FCC when the agency that handled that particular service was the city's Department of Sanitation. Cosgrove said that often the public doesn't know what level or part of government handles what service -- which is what the 311 system was made for.
Cosgrove said that since January, service requests can be tracked online and the city has plans to expand 311 so service requests can be initiated online as well.
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.