How Small Local Governments are Closing the Good Government Divide
“Millennials are largely digital natives, heavily engaging with organizations and each other via the internet. Local governments are unlikely to be able to join in, however, because they don’t always have the budget or staffing to implement digital platforms that can bring issues and information to voters.”
What Paul is getting at is that small local governments face a stiff challenge; to effectively engage with the growing population of digital natives, joining the online conversation isn’t enough, as the most important entity in the community, local governments’ need to lead the conversation.
This challenge is not insurmountable, as exemplified by organizations like Paducah, Kentucky. The city is using iCompass’ free online paperless agenda management tool AgendaFree to streamline their time consuming process, improving efficiency as well as the quantity and quality of information available to the public online.
The transition was quick and the project has resulted in an 85% reduction in paper usage and several hours saved with every agenda created. That’s a huge payoff for an organization like Paducah with a population of about 25,000.
In Mclendon-Chisholm, Texas a growing city on the outskirts of Dallas, the pressure to go digital mounted with every young family moving into the community, and every new subdivision planned. But with a staff of only 2 people (yes 2!), and a minuscule budget, improving transparency seemed like a pipe dream. The adoption of AgendaFree changed that. The time savings is allowing this small team to focus on managing the growth of the city, while ensuring that citizens can access meeting agendas and the supporting attachments online.
For a great read on the challenges facing small local governments read Paul Blanchet’s article Is Good Government Beyond the Reach of Small Government.
To learn more about AgendaFree, the paperless agenda management tool being adopted by local governments nationwide to improve efficiency and transparency at no cost, follow this link.