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5 Reasons to Keep Up With Technology

Technology is everywhere and it's changing the way local governments operate.  

As the next era of local government staff join the workforce they are coming with a new level of technological expertise.  The processes that local governments have followed for decades are falling by the wayside as investments in technology grow, not to replace staff, but to empower them by giving them the tools to do more. 

Burbank's Strategies to Improve Voter Turnout

thumbnail to vote in electionsIn 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

round table meeting

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

facebook is the post used social mediaIn 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

ipad example with app

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.