This morning, the City of Long Beach announced that it has been named a Top-10 Digital City, beating out hundreds of other cities in a survey that best demonstrate how information and communication technology are used to enhance public service.
In a statement, Mayor Bob Foster said that "The City of Long Beach takes great pride in our use of technology to be more efficient and make City Hall more accessible and responsive to the community." I could not agree with him more.
Improving our technology and communication efforts has been a top priority. We have developed innovative new smartphone applications, focused on social networking, enhanced online video, and numerous other technology improvements.
In addition, we are in the process of re-imagining the city website, and upgrading public safety technology.
Here are just some examples of technological innovation through which the City has improved operational efficiencies and reduced costs:
- Launched the free Go Long Beach smartphone application for the public to submit service requests. Available from the Android Market and the App Store; services also accessible at http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ik7bivcab&et=1108487703696&s=11875&e=001nwTJccLVaBhRvraoOA_jxCawsSkj10_trtrV-ocH6VeTwLl-H3yhMqUcufjkYPuwdixoLBvRy3eCZLdVuebn8rY8ABtK2EY4G6Odzb0Xr9GMtpbPs3gN3Q==
- Embraced social media, especially Facebook, to engage and communicate with the public http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ik7bivcab&et=1108487703696&s=11875&e=001nwTJccLVaBg-bed280znbqWUBEBG4xhOh2UjHQP6VVoSqJDNDOHzI7MJgp5n8OucLbovBAxMDqCIEhysfJ8UDp-_cd21NN3PCsA4vHia9fY-dQP9Ba2kEnq_fOyulEDD
- Consolidated multiple document management systems into a single enterprise system, cutting annual support and storage costs
- Enhanced online streaming video to allow the public to view live and archived City Council Meetings through the Internet or on a mobile device such as an iPhone or iPad
- Extended fiber optics between several City facilities, improving productivity and enhancing disaster recovery capabilities
- Implemented new online permits and licenses (garage sales, preferential parking, pet licenses)
- Implemented Internet-based phone technology that will generate over $150,000 in savings annually
- Implemented virtual servers and workstations, estimated to achieve over $100,000 in savings over a three-year period.
- Provided online access to executed contracts and enabling online submittal of public comment on agenda items
- Led an effort among community stakeholders to create a public-private partnership to bring back public access television
We still have a lot of work to do, but this is a great start. Thanks for your support, and Go Long Beach!