Cary Names Tech Task Force

Cary, NC – At its regular meeting last week, Cary Town Council approved members of a new Technology Task Force. The job of the nine-member group is to recommend ways the Town can the best use of technology in communicating with citizens.

Technology Task Force

Assistant Town Manager Mike Bajorek wrote the background brief:

During the April 19, 2012 Council meeting, council directed staff to bring a report to Council facilitating the creation of a task force on improving technology services to citizens.  In proposing this initiative, Council Member Bush noted the Town of Cary 2012 biennual survey results clearly show that more and more of our citizens are accessing Town information and services online, and are increasingly leveraging all types of technology to do so.  With more than 50% of survey respondents reporting having, or planning to purchase, Smartphones over the next two years, there are opportunities to leverage these new communication venues for increasing citizen engagement.

New technology (such as iPads and mobile applications) have also provided a new way to engage and connect with citizens, and these trends are continuing.  New applications like SeeClickFix offer valuable tools to town residents to provide “on the spot” information to ensure town staff are aware of issues across the town.

Town staff and council members have heard from citizens across Cary that information can be difficult to find online; that current methods (Cary News, postcards) are not reaching intended audiences; and that online tools are the methods they want to leverage to communicate.

Taking a measured approach while leveraging Cary subject matter experts and citizens, will lead to better engagement, increase website usage, and should reduce costs by helping citizens be more effective with self-help online solutions, as well as potentially reducing more costly print methods.

This review of the Town’s technology services to external users would go hand in hand with staff’s proposed development of a Strategic Information Technology (SIT) Plan.  The SIT Plan, the development of which would be facilitated by Dr. Shannon Tufts of the UNC School of Government, will provide a framework for strategic IT investments and management for the next three years.  Dr. Tuft’s efforts will mainly focus on the internal needs and challenges of the Town of Cary organization.

The combination of examining the Town’s technology services from both external and internal user perspectives will provide a holistic view of the current state and identify future technology investments, thereby ensuring proper scoping and prioritization of future plans and expenditures.

Task Force Members

These are the nine members of new Cary Technology Task Force:

  • Ian Cillay
  • Laura Hamlyn
  • Hal Goodtree
  • Eleanor Thorne
  • Raymond Zeisz
  • Eric Brown
  • James Dixon
  • Brandon Smith
  • Ian Henshaw, Chair

More info about Tech Task Force members is available at the ToC website..

8 Meetings

The Tech Task Force is schedule to meet 8 times ending November 28. The group will present a report and recommendations to Town Council.

What Do You Think?

What do you think would be a good way for the Town to use technology in communications?

Leave your thoughts in the comments or email editor@carycitizen.com.

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6 replies
    • Hal Goodtree
      Hal Goodtree says:

      I’m here for you, Doc! Let me know if you have any ideas about how the Town could use technology to boost the mission of HoCA.

  1. Brent
    Brent says:

    Hal, I’m delighted that you’re on this task force and I am confident that you and the other members will come up with innovative ideas for Cary.

    My thoughts include:
    – A diversity of communication methods is best. Different people will like, use and relate to different sorts of technologies and communication methods. Improve the old, embrace the new, but please recommend a broad spectrum that includes all of our citizens.
    – “Technology” is not exclusively the latest, greatest social media, mobile apps and gizmos (said the computer scientist!). (It’s not even exclusively the Internet and all it enables, although that seems to be the focus of this task force). I expect that a lot of value can be generated by improving what we already have, so I hope the task force won’t forget that as they explore the use of new technologies that the town current does not employ.

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