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Better government through civic engagement

Customer Spotlight: Pinellas County, Florida

Jason Christensen
Pinellas County, Florida Courthouse
Like many jurisdictions, Pinellas County, Fla. struggles under a land use regimen that can sometimes seem painfully slow. It’s a source of frustration to builders, and can be an impediment to economic development. “Plan review is probably the longest portion of the approval process,” said David Howdeshell, a project sponsor in Pinellas County’s Building and Development Review Services. He’s heading up a reinvention of the process, implementing Accela land use products to make the wheels turn more smoothly. Plan review can encompass a staggering range of participants, with as many as 18 separate agencies weighing in on the process, and no automated means to streamline the system…. Continue reading

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Event Roundup: 4 Things I Learned at the 2019 National Planning Conference

Jason Christensen
high risers
Last week, city planners from across the country descended on San Francisco, CA for one of the largest planning conferences of the year – the 2019 National Planning Conference – hosted by the American Planning Association. As an attendee and exhibitor, I wanted to share some of the highlights from the show, along with some of my key learnings. Learning 1: The Downtown Paradigm Shift 15-20 years ago, one major concern for city planners was rescuing downtown areas. Today, however, this is no longer an issue. Yet due to evolving urban demographics and emerging technology, planners are being presented with a new set of unique challenges and opportunities,… Continue reading

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Culver City Digitizes Cannabis Regulation

David Maxwell
In emerging industries, from car sharing to short-term rentals, cities face a range of regulatory complexities. They’re challenged to implement permitting, inspections and licensing across business models that literally didn’t exist just a few years ago. In a recent webinar, Culver City, Calif. senior program analyst Trisha Perez talked about how that municipality of some 40,000 residents has leveraged Accela technology to streamline new processes around the sale of cannabis. In the wake of statewide legalization, “we were having to reevaluate our values as a city organization and as a community,” she said. Cannabis cultivation, distribution and sale required a new regulatory framework. “It did take quite a bit of research and collaboration between departments here in the city.” The city faced a range of challenges in determining specific goals,… Continue reading

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Customer Spotlight: Maricopa County, Arizona

Jason Christensen
  When it comes to land management issues, geography and technology conspire to make life complicated for government officials in Maricopa County, Arizona. In terms of geography, the county’s vast spaces – some 9,200 square miles in all – make it time-consuming and difficult for citizens and developers to do their business at county offices, especially when hundreds of miles separate inspection locations. On the technology front, advances in the commercial sector are ratcheting up citizen expectation around service and convenience. “Everything is moving so much quicker today. Think about your experience with your bank or your financial institution and how you can interact with it at home,… Continue reading

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Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers Honors Accela Customers

Accela

Government Technology Magazine Awards 10 Accela Customers Its Highest Recognition for Innovation

They’re collaborators, ground breakers, and constantly innovating. These were the three qualities of the 2019 Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers awardees, with 10 out of the 25 winners serving in offices of Accela’s government customers. Government Technology magazine (GovTech) has held the awards for nearly two decades and they are intended to put a spotlight on public sector pioneers that have used technology to re-envision  services for residents and assist their agency to govern the future effectively. Over the course of its history, the awards program has honored 450 talented teams and individuals that have set the bar for what is possible in government…. Continue reading

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Seizing the Shift: 3 Ways to Harness Digital Transformation in 2019

Accela

Accela CEO Gary Kovacs spotlights three strategies for mayors and local leaders to answer resident demands and improve services at the same time.

Accela CEO Gary Kovacs Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Government Technology magazine and Route Fifty.Technology is changing government, new industries are changing government, resident expectations are changing government. These pressures are a given in 2019 as officials work tirelessly to keep residents happy and services running.Yet with these shifts, Accela CEO Gary Kovacs sees a game changing opportunity for governments to achieve what previous leaders could just dream about: a complete and lasting digital transformation. In an open letter to mayors and local leaders,… Continue reading

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4 Benefits of Digital Cannabis Regulation

Accela
cannabis software
With most states legalizing some form of cannabis use and numerous localities considering new or expanded legalization, the growth of the cannabis industry is all but certain. To help local communities manage the wave of businesses and regulatory challenges, Accela has developed its Civic Solution for Cannabis Regulation to help governments track business operations, collect tax revenues and gain insights into local industry activity to keep residents safe. The solution can be customized to the specific needs of a locality or be deployed rapidly as cloud application to process cannabis business licenses and permits faster and more efficiently. Whether you are issuing and tracking a cannabis business’ license or certi­fication or ensuring cannabis facility construction meets strict code requirements,… Continue reading

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An Application that Rethinks Environmental Health

Accela
Accela software allows citizens to have access 24/7

With True Workflow Management, Deep GIS capability, A Self-Serve Portal and Task Management Across Departments, Accela’s Civic Application for Environmental Health Sets a New Standard in Government Tech

The world of environmental health is vast. It’s regulations impact land use, recreational facilities, our consumption of retail food, and even how communities care for children and elderly residents. To help county’s and local governments, Accela has developed the Civic Application for Environmental Health, one of the first out-of-the box systems that will enable health departments to that automates critical activities like permitting, inspection management, and responding to health complaints. “Our Civic Application for Environmental Health is an adaptable and scalable solution that can be implemented quickly,… Continue reading

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Speed, Service Quality, Agile Strategies: Manatee County Moves to the Cloud

Accela
Bradenton, Manatee County
Aging software and systems are a struggle for governments everywhere, but what do officials do when these same systems jeopardize essential services? They adapt. In this video, Manatee’s Director of Building and Development Services John Barnott explains how the county took 20-year-old systems and transformed them with the help of Accela’s cloud solutions for planning and building. This helped them save $250,000 annually and dramatically accelerate operations. Barnott said the county wanted to ensure services could meet the demands of residents, and many of the county’s older system were no longer supported by the vendors that had originally sold them. This meant constant fears of possible service outages and potentially high repair costs if a system went down…. Continue reading

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Building Capacity to Leverage Reports

Darryl Booth
microsoft power bi
An example of Microsoft Power BI, one of the industry leading analytics tools for reporting. (Microsoft) Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by the National Environmental Health Association’s (NEHA) Journal of Environmental Health in its April 2019 issue that can be found here. A sure measure of software satisfaction is getting out more than you put in. The MyFitnessPal app on my phone is great. I tap in my meals, snacks, and work-outs. It’s a small chore. Maybe I should invest those slivers of time elsewhere? But I don’t. I keep inputting those meals because I get predictions and motivation when I look at the positive trends…. Continue reading

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