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Burbank's Strategies to Improve Voter Turnout


In cities across the nation, the question is frequently asked how do we improve voter turnout? When Federal and State elections are consistently showing low turnout, how do municipalities compare and compete? National and State level elections have more advertising through the candidate’s big advertising budgets, organizations like Rock the Vote and news coverage.  Municipalities don’t have that backing unless they are consolidated with one of those elections.  So what do you do?

8 Tips for Managing a Successful Advisory Committee


Council members are regularly appointed to advisory committees which council or the mayor has established to provide recommendations on a specific topic or area.  When council members are appointed to a committee, and this isn’t always the case, they are appointed either as voting or non-voting members.  In some cases the make-up of a committee is predetermined by legislation, but most times it’s the Clerk, City Manager or other staff who recommend the make-up of the committee and its terms of reference. When running smoothly, an advisory committee can be a shining example of democracy and public participation at its finest.  But when things go wrong they can be a public relations nightmare and undermine the public’s trust in a local government and it’s elected officials.  

Why Your Clerks Association Should Be Using Facebook


In the iCompass North American Municipal Clerks survey we asked respondents what social media site they use most frequently.  The answer by a wide margin was Facebook.  In fact, of the Clerks surveyed, it wasn’t even close.  55% of respondents say they use Facebook daily, while the drop off after that is significant.  31% use Google+, 6% use Pinterest and 3% use LinkedIn on a daily basis.

A Clerk's Guide to Getting Council and Staff Using a Paperless Agenda


I started my position as an assistant in Corporate Administration at the City of Revelstoke in the summer of 2009.  I was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of paper being used for the distribution of agendas.  At that time there were Committee of the Whole agendas, Council agendas as well as In-Camera agendas for both meetings.  I was required to assemble and photocopy 22 copies of each agenda for Council and the Management Team.  I also recognized that other departments such as Development Services, Finance and Parks, Recreation and Culture were creating separate Committee Agendas with additional paper copies.  The amount of paper was unreasonable and I was determined to find a more efficient process.

Getting the Most Out of Your Agenda and Records Management Team


In our recent North America Wide Survey of 15,000 Clerks we asked them to share information about their responsibilities outside of agenda and minutes management.  Respondents identified nearly 50 unique roles they are taking on in addition to the core duties of being a Clerk.   Most Clerks will tell you they ‘wear multiple hats’ in their organization.  But for the first time we have a complete picture into just how many Clerks are being asked to go above and beyond.

  

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