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Better government through civic engagement

Tackling our Housing Crisis with Technology

Gary Kovacs
America is facing a serious housing crisis. Cities from coast to coast are affected. In fact, no city or state in the country has an adequate supply of housing for the lowest income renters. Complicating matters further, often affordable housing construction is stifled by an arduous and outdated permitting process that can delay or halt progress altogether. We have yet to fully acknowledge and embrace one of the simple truths about this glaring problem: the important role technology can play in resolving it. May is Building Safety Month and this is an opportune time to discuss the proverbial “elephant in the room.” If we are serious about tackling this issue,… Continue reading

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The Accela 2019 Spring Release: The Best Gets Even Better

Accela

Learn about the latest updates to Accela’s Civic Solutions and how they will accelerate your services

Accela’s solutions have always been about elevating government services. Now, with our Spring 2019 product release, Accela is transforming services even further with a series of new enhancements that will put governments on the cutting edge.In the next set of updates launching this month, you’ll get a clearer picture of your system processes with improved activity logging, gather near real-time business intelligence through our new Enhanced Reporting Database (ERD), save data in the field with offline mobile app storage, collect agency payments efficiently via configurable payment types, and complete tasks even faster through major upgrades to four of our Civic Applications…. Continue reading

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How to Untap Economic Growth Through Digital Licensing

Jason Christensen
business licensing
Editor’s note: This blog comes from the report, “Stimulating Economic Growth Through Modern Business Licensing,” the full report can be found here. Business incentives can be explicit – such as favorable zoning, taxation, and regulation – or implicit – such as the local real estate market, nearby natural resources, or an available skilled local workforce. Disincentives can also be similarly defined or implied, such as unfavorable zoning, high taxation, complex business regulation, a high crime rate, or poor available infrastructure.This unique combination of favorable and unfavorable conditions determines, to a large extent, the economic growth of a community. A favorable business ecosystem attracts new business and encourages expansion;… Continue reading

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Pool Safety: Tips and Tech to Protect Your Community

Hana Albarazi

Accela celebrates Building Safety Month with resource to increase pool and water safety

The summer pool season is nearly here, and with it, you can almost hear the chirp of the lifeguard’s safety whistle: “Breet! No running! Breet! No splashing! Breet! No diving near the shallow end! Breeeet! Only 30 to 50 parts per million of Cyanuric Acid allowed in the pool — well, maybe strike that last one. Even so, when it comes to safety, pool care and conditions are critical. With young people all over the country anticipating summer break, pool season is about to open with a splash, presenting a crucial opportunity to focus on safety best practices Whether most residents know it or not,… Continue reading

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From Roads, Water to Railways, Accela Celebrates Infrastructure Week

Accela
Improving infrastructure can seem like an abstract concept, yet the impacts of effective infrastructure are undeniable. Infrastructure dictates how and where you drive, the quality of water you drink, your access to emergency services and how you connect to the rest of the world. This is why, from May 13-20, Accela is joining the many public, private and non-profit organizations across the U.S. in celebrating Infrastructure Week (IW). The week of advocacy and education is designed to help business, labor and elected leaders revitalize and modernize infrastructure, and as such, Accela is supporting the effort with a few pieces of advice for local governments as they invest in digital infrastructure…. Continue reading

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Planning and Building: Pima County Spotlights 4 Benefits of Going Digital

Accela

Pima County Modernizes Planning, Permitting and Inspection Processes with Accela Community Development Solutions

Editor’s note: This is a case study of Pima County, Arizona, that used Accela to improve its permitting and planning department operations.Key Benefits: Staff save an average of 8-hours in processing time per week Reduced office foot traffic, and 24/7 online access to residents Quick reporting for better workload management Reduced permit turnaround times Pima County utilizes Accela Building and Planning for all permitting and planning functions including inspections, code enforcement, record searches and more. Each year, a total of 35,000 building inspections are conducted within the county limits, presenting processing challenges for the agency…. Continue reading

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The State of Cannabis Regulation

Judy Steele
Editor’s Note: This blog was first published in The Accela Cannabis Regulation Newsletter, that seeks to inform regulators of the many industry and legislative  changes across North America. Questions and notes may be directed to [email protected] Legalization unfolds in many ways when states are first faced with this new market. Often, regulations change rapidly as the regulatory framework is planned and put into place. As we’ve seen, there isn’t one solution that works for everyone. Cannabis regulation is consistently controversial across all levels of government and the lack of federal oversight seems to add to those complications. Uncertainty also remains as jurisdictions continue to be faced with the growing support from constituents regarding legalization and the ability to implement a regulatory framework that supports the competing demands of a new industry…. Continue reading
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Building Safety Month: Tips to Safeguard Your Community

Accela
Building codes can seem frustrating. They demand building plan approvals, collaboration with city planning and building departments and they create a chain of checkups and inspections along the way. Yet building codes also protect residents and save lives and this is why Accela celebrates May as Building Safety Month. The International Code Council (ICC) has set the time aside to call attention to the significance of building codes and provide education to governments and communities about how they can leverage this regulatory tool to protect residents during times of disaster. “All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse,” the ICC notes…. Continue reading

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What Legalized Hemp Means for Local Government

Accela

A Q&A with Accela’s Director of Cannabis Regulation Judy Steele

Hemp is an emerging market that is priming itself for an aggressive U.S. expansion. After the 2018 Farm Bill, that officially legalized hemp at the federal level, growers and distributers are planning to unleash a wave of new products and services. What this means for governments is a new regulatory landscape fueled by an unprecedented demand. There are more than 25,000 products globally that use hemp and these products touch many industries. Hemp can be used in automotive parts, furniture, textiles, construction supplies, cosmetics and in food and beverages — without the psychoactive qualities of traditional marijuana…. Continue reading

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Elevate Your Agency at Accelarate

Accela

Early Bird Registration Through May 31st

Accela’s premier customer conference is fast approaching and this is your opportunity to get access to this industry event through early bird registration, saving attendees $250 off the regular price.Held in Denver, from Oct. 6-9, Accelarate brings together the best of government with a series of insightful keynotes, thought provoking panels, breakout discussions, training sessions and awards. The 2019 conference is expected to be the biggest yet and will provide a unique opportunity for government leaders to get insider insights on the latest technologies and innovation tactics.The conference will host nearly 30 exhibiting partners and offer more than 70 hours of product training and customer- and partner-led sessions…. Continue reading

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