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Launching Accela CRM: Muhlenberg Township Shares Its Keys for Success

Launching Accela CRM: Muhlenberg Township Shares Its Keys for Success
Recently, Muhlenberg Township, Pennsylvania, launched Accela Citizen Relationship Management (formerly PublicStuff), expanding its use of the Accela Civic Platform – the Township also uses Accela Finance and Administration to manage its complex finance and accounting processes.  Notably, the Township was able to launch Accela Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) in less than seven weeks. As a way to understand this successful launch, and hopefully provide lessons to those currently in the implementation stage (and others considering a CRM solution), I spoke with Joe Mench, Director of Information Technology for the Township. Like many IT officials in local government, Joe wears many hats. Not only is he responsible for IT planning, but he also serves as business analyst, strategist and designer for the Township. In bringing Accela CRM to his community, Joe was involved in the purchasing and implementation of the product. (He’s also a citizen user – he lives in Reading,...
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Making Modernization a Reality for More Than 300 Communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Making Modernization a Reality for More Than 300 Communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
While the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the most populous state in New England, it is also packed full of very small communities, over half of which have under 10,000 residents (with 80 percent under 40,000). And the proportionally smaller budgets have traditionally kept the most advanced and capable technological solutions out of reach. Not any longer. Accela and zedIT have partnered to bring the Civic Platform to small towns in an affordable and quick fashion with rapid implementation packages, making the best in government modernization finally attainable to the small towns in the Commonwealth. With built-in industry best practices specific to the needs of Massachusetts towns, the Civic Platform includes support for emerging state-level initiatives to improve user experience and citizen service. Read the announcement .
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Evanston 311: City Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary of Its Successful 311 Call Center

Evanston 311: City Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary of Its Successful 311 Call Center
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This post is part of our weeklong celebration of 311 Day on March 11th. Use the hashtag #Getthe311 to follow the celebration on Twitter. ---- Earlier this month, the City of Evanston, Illinois, celebrated the five-year anniversary of its successful 311 call center. The success of the program can be summed up by this July article in the Chicago Tribune . Columnist Christine Wolf describes how, following an accident involving her son, Evanston 311 helped drive change that brought improved signage to a dangerous intersection. “Knowing I had someone to call about an issue important to me kept the lines of communication open and positive – a much-needed reminder for this working mom,” she wrote. Since implementation, the City has received 678,101 calls, 132,270 requests, 9,916 live chats and 1,459 texts. What makes Evanston 311 worth celebrating is the City's commitment to public service. In addition to a 311 line,...
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The Open Meeting Law Experience in Westwood, Massachusetts: How We Improved Transparency and Streamlined the Entire Meeting Process

The Open Meeting Law Experience in Westwood, Massachusetts: How We Improved Transparency and Streamlined the Entire Meeting Process
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First, let me say that I am not an Open Meeting Law expert, nor is my interpretation of the law fact. This is an opinion piece on how here in Westwood, Massachusetts, we have used the Open Meeting Law to keep our residents informed and remain as transparent as possible with the way our community leaders make decisions. I have worked for the Town of Westwood as the Executive Assistant for the last eight years with the primary responsibility of supporting the Town Administrator in preparing packets for the biweekly Board of Selectmen meetings, including organization of the reports, attachments and proposed actions and maintaining all the records in the office. Massachusetts Open Meeting Law (OML), M.G.L. Chapter 30A, §§18-25 was created to require communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be transparent in their governance. Westwood takes OML very seriously and we follow the law to the best of...
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Featured Customer: El Paso, Texas, Speeds Service and Centralizes Information across Multiple Departments

Featured Customer: El Paso, Texas, Speeds Service and Centralizes Information across Multiple Departments
There are so many powerful examples of local governments across the nation improving internal efficiencies while enhancing the way they deliver services to residents at the same time. The City of El Paso, Texas, demonstrates how governments can take advantage of the Accela Civic Platform across multiple departments to improve efficiencies and get everyone on the same page. In El Paso, more than 26 municipal departments were struggling with manual, paper-laden processes. Slow response times to citizen requests and complaints, delayed permit and license applications and approvals, and backlogged caseloads were just the beginning. The Environmental Services Department (ESD) was in the process of implementing the Accela Civic Platform, which was catching the attention of other departments. It soon became the main solution that would help address many of the City’s operational challenges and position it as a service and technology leader. Now, the City has traded the chaos of...
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And the Award Goes to… Government Superstars at Accela Engage 2015!

And the Award Goes to… Government Superstars at Accela Engage 2015!
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It was a whirlwind week at Accela Engage in Los Angeles last month, with over 800 customers, partners, developers, thought leaders and Accela staff coming together for inspirational keynotes, presentations, sharing of best practices, networking, over 60 sessions to choose from and hands-on training. After a productive first day, during which we announced the 2015 Accela Civic App Challenge winners , we rolled out the red carpet for our customers at Paramount Studios. We held our Customer Appreciation Dinner in the New York Streets Backlot, bringing a little of my hometown to LA (go, Mets!). I was honored to join Maury this year to announce our annual customer award winners — agencies that are using technology to improve efficiencies and enhance collaboration both within agencies and with their citizens. And what better place to hand out awards than surrounded by a little Hollywood glamour? We were also delighted to have Julia Burrows...
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