Techy talk

There are many definitions for the word GEEK – I tend to like the one that has to do with technology.  But it wasn’t always that way.  Growing up, being a girl that liked engineering, science, math and computers wasn’t that common. (Studies show the numbers haven’t increased that much.) 

Technology Geek

Now, though, I am proud of that label. It’s allowed me great opportunities, given me a way to express myself, and I feel comfortable in that skin. Having a “technology bent” has connected me with great folks in the community.  And that’s what happened today.

Meeting the ISAB

I am privileged to be Council Liaison to the Information Services Advisory Board (ISAB) and I attended their first meeting of this year tonight.   I’ve always been interested in their mission since the formation of the board so many years ago.  They’re a great group of volunteers, with a diverse set of experiences and insights.

Tonight, I wanted to meet the members, have a dialogue, and hear from them while sharing some of my ideas for bringing Cary back to being a technology leader, connecting citizens with their government & services.

We started with quick introductions; who we are, what we do, what’s our passion. I shared some of my own frustrations and even opportunities that could be solved by technology, such as:

  1. Ability to find the status of Town fields that are open or closed
  2. Tracking ability of C-Tran
  3. Using mobile apps like SeeClickFix to connect citizens with govt (such as reporting maintenance issues, potholes, etc.)
  4. Finding better ways to use and navigate the Town Website
  5. Providing video meetings/content that’s on CaryTV online 
  6. Looking at best practices from other Municipality websites
  7. Mass notification
  8. Crowd sourcing ideas from our citizens
  9. Cybersecurity information and outreach for citizens

I’ve always had a passion for how technology can be used to connect citizens with government.  In the private sector, we use technology to improve productivity, create products and save money.  In the public sector, the product we have is services; providing utilities, trash pickup, policies to help a growing community.

I believe that technology can be used effectively to help every citizen be an active participant in government while accelerating the sharing of ideas.  It can put the right information, into the right hands, at the right time. (This was illustrated well when one of the members of the board spoke about how we need a better system to let parents know when fields are closed, since there have been occasions when kids are dropped off for practice to a “closed” town field.)

I probably could have talked with the folks in this group for hours, but the meeting time wouldn’t allow for that. And, they had other items on their agenda.  I’m looking forward to working with them in the future!

Featured photo by Daniel Iversen