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CIOs’ Leadership Marks the Difference

Darryl Booth
Local leadership defined the August 2019 Bay Area Regional CIO Conference where CIOs and local government IT leaders convened to share successes, challenges and opportunities. I’ve never worked before with such an amiable association, so intensely focused on elevating their profession. The topics and the passionate discourse worked its way into my every-day thinking for the next week. It remained top-of-mind and helped me maintain a leadership bias. Hot topics and unavoidable threats The hot topics were both expected and unexpected. A glimpse into the next 20 years of tech set the stage for CIO-led sessions on Privacy, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Security, Regional Software Vetting / Buying,… Continue reading

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5 Tips for Next Gen Disaster Preparedness for Health Departments

Hana AlBarazi
environmental-health-flood-protection
Disaster response is top-of-mind for health departments across the country. To help agencies be prepared ahead of a disaster, we’ve compiled some important tips and tricks. 1. Track & report – When the pressure is on to gather resources and information to respond to a disaster, and when agencies like FEMA or the Army Corp of Engineers need your data, you don’t want to be combing through spreadsheets from multiple computers, doing data cleanup and filtering out irrelevant information. The best way to avoid this scramble is to have a data system that compiles all your health data across programs. If you already have a system of record,… Continue reading

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Smart City Policy Summit Roundup: The Advantages of Short-term Rental Regulation

David Maxwell
Last week, on a sweltering August day in Austin, Texas, nearly 200 participants gathered to discuss one of the hottest topics facing local governments today: short-term rentals and the opportunities and challenges they present. Hosted by the Smart City Policy Group, the summit brought together stakeholders across the spectrum of the short-term rental industry, from local government officials, vacation and tourism boards, online rental platform representatives, and owners/hosts of short-term rental properties. Accela was a sponsor of the event and I had the pleasure of participating in the summit as a subject matter expert on short-term rental registration and licensing. In opening remarks at the summit,… Continue reading

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Hurricane Country: How Charlotte County Leverages Land Use Tools to Boost Resilience

Adam Stone
Charlotte-County-Land-Use
It took a hurricane for officials in Charlotte County, Fla. to realize that their antiquated, paper-based land use processes had to change. When the next big blow came through, they were better prepared. “One of the important things in terms of economic growth and economic sustainability of a community is how quickly you can bounce back from disaster,” said Claire Jubb, the Community Development Director for Charlotte County. Legacy systems made it hard for the county to recover after Hurricane Charlie hit in 2004. By the time Hurricane Irma struck in 2017, it was a different story. “We were ready,” Jubb said. “We had done our homework…. Continue reading
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Call for Nominations – Accela Trendsetter Awards

Jason Christensen

State and local agencies elevating communities to be honored at Accela’s 2019 Trendsetter Awards in Denver

Accela is recognizing  innovative  government agencies and leaders harnessing new technologies, automation methods, digital strategies and modern processes to elevate their communities…and we’d love your nominations! If you know of an agency or individual who has leveraged Accela technology to reach new heights, we invite you to submit your nomination. This year’s Trendsetter Award winners will be announced during our Gala Awards dinner on October 8th at Accelarate 2019 in Denver, Colorado. One winner will be selected from each of the following categories: Agency Award Categories:  Government Elevated Recognizing a government agency who is elevating their community,… Continue reading

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Top 7 Reasons to Get Excited About Accelarate 2019

Valerie Pressley
Valerie Pressley
Gary-Accelarate
In October, hundreds of city leaders and innovators from across the country will convene at Accela’s annual customer conference, Accelarate, in Denver, Colorado. Conference attendees are treated to information- and inspiration-filled days of keynote presentations, workshops, product training, customer panel sessions and networking opportunities with colleagues, product experts and Accela staff. But this year, we are introducing new elements to the conference for even more value-add. Here are seven reasons to be excited about what’s in store at Accelarate 2019. Denver Simply Rocks Sometimes, it’s not the journey, it’s the destination, and the Mile High City is the perfect place to support this year’s conference theme, … Continue reading

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Customer Spotlight: High Point, N.C. Leverages SaaS to Improve Planning and Development

Adam Stone
In High Point, N.C., a longtime hub of the U.S. furniture-making industry, city officials needed a better way to engage with developers, service citizens and ultimately guide the community development process. They needed digital tools in place of outmoded manual processes. The city needed a solution that would dramatically reduce permit time, in part by taking the plan review process online and also by facilitating improved communications between developers and city officials. “We started looking for vendors that we thought would be stable and be here with us for the long run,” said Mark Schreoder, a senior planner in the city’s Development Services Center Administration. After a thorough vetting process,… Continue reading

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Customer Spotlight: Mesa, Arizona Answers New Service Demands with Data

Adam Stone
Mesa, Arizona, City Hall
When Mesa, Ariz. decided to take its planning and building processes digital, city officials got more than they expected. They had hoped that purging manual tasks from the development cycle would speed the planning process. What they didn’t expect was the degree to which a digital framework would lead to new transparencies, and how this in turn would boost economic development. “When we implemented Accela we also went completely paperless,” said the city’s Permits Supervisor Heather Basford. “The feedback that we’ve received from our users is that it is much more convenient and it saves them time and money on their end to be able to make those transactions electronically.” A suburb of Phoenix,… Continue reading

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Deschutes County: Advancing and Optimizing Services through Cloud Technologies

Adam Stone
Deschutes County, Oregon
Aging systems, manual tasks and paper forms present formidable hurdles to responsible land-use, especially in fast-growing counties. While some struggle to manage these legacy processes, others have seized the opportunity to revitalize services with modernized Software-as-a-Service solutions. In a recent webinar, officials from Deschutes County discussed their efforts to accelerate planning and building services through cloud technologies, including Accela’s Civic Solutions for Planning and Building. They described the improvements they have experienced through the adoption of automation, mobile applications, citizen data portals and data-driven reporting. “We’ve seen a huge impact,” said Angie Havniear, an administrative manager at Deschutes County. “We can now track our workflow data,… Continue reading

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With the Rise of Hemp, Regulators Look for New Tools

Accela

Finding solutions that simplify the licensing, inspection and oversight of hemp cultivation

From California’s Silicon Valley, through the Midwest, and into Florida’s verdant farmlands, hemp is advancing rapidly, a trend that has prompted regulators and businesses to seek out new tools to monitor and manage the developing market. After its legalization through the 2018 Farm Bill analysts have high expectations for the $1.1 billion industry that is expected to more than double its worth by 2020. Hemp farming is currently underway in 24 states, U.S. hemp acreage has tripled between 2017 and 2018, and there are currently more than 25,000 hemp-based products already in circulating in the market.  … Continue reading
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