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Better government through civic engagement

Is Your Community Ready for the Next Health Outbreak?

Accela
EH assessment

Take this assessment to see if your health department has the right tools to confront tomorrow’s environmental health challenges

When it comes to community health issues, cities seek support from their local health department first. Food poisoning, pest infestations, water contamination, hazardous material spills, these are just a few critical challenges departments confront daily. The right tools are essential to respond to these issues. Health departments need tools that ensure they can deliver frequent field inspections, fast permitting transactions, clear reports and provide an easy and accessible way for residents to submit information and make requests. In the Accela Environmental Health Assessment you can answer a set of simple questions to gauge your environmental health readiness based on your current tools and processes…. Continue reading

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Building Capacity by Maximizing the Software Demo

Darryl Booth
Like test driving a car along a pre-approved route or laying on a mattress under the fluorescent lights of a showroom, we are sometimes expected to make critically important recommendations with just a sliver of information. This experience can also occur in your office when your team joins a meeting in which a potential vendor demonstrates (demos) its software. Eventually you’re asked, “What did you think?” I’ve attended hundreds of such meetings and for the most part, all participants are keenly interested in matching a health department’s needs to the product’s capabilities. The demo is a “good one” when the features match your needs and interest is raised…. Continue reading

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8 Planning Trends That Will Transform Your Community

Accela

We look at the tools and agile planning strategies that will streamline the next generation of planning, zoning, and code enforcement processes

Editors Note: This blog is based off of the Accela white paper 8 Trends Transforming Community Planning. The world’s population is projected to increase from 7.6 billion to 9.8 billion by 2050, and with this growth, the characteristics and demands of the population are changing. To scale and enhance services planners must be innovative, searching out new tools, and new ways to solve problems. Cities are getting denser and larger, life expectancies are longer, increasing demand for nearby medical and care services,… Continue reading

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Four Ways Digital Innovation is Shaping Short-term Rental Regulation

Accela

Accela celebrates week five of Building Safety Month by spotlighting effective digital tools that are transforming how cities adapt to the short-term rental industry

Short-term rentals (STR) have changed how we think about housing and travel. They reshaped the hotel and tourism industry, made travel more affordable and created new opportunities for homeowners to generate extra income. Yet with this change, cities are challenged to adapt regulations to ensure this new industry is fairly taxed and operates safely.As part of week five in the International Code Council’s Building Safety Month, that supports the theme “Innovations in Building Safety,” Accela is here to offer advice and tools for STR regulation…. Continue reading

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Digital Tools Could Be Critical for Alcohol Enforcement

Accela

Regulators in the alcohol and beverage industry see technology as a catalyst for effective alcohol regulation

With the alcohol and beverage market on the rise and new legislation popping up to keep the industry in check, regulators are looking toward technology for effective enforcement tools and strategies.At the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) Annual Conference, held May 20-23, industry regulators called out a need for modern enforcement solutions to handle current demands in liquor licensing and the associated inspections, complaints, and investigations that come through the regulatory process. Conference attendees representing state Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) departments voiced an urgency to move faster with enforcement operations using data,… Continue reading

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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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