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Better government through civic engagement

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Tim Woodbury

Tim Woodbury

As Director of Government Relations for Accela, Tim Woodbury helps governments leverage technology to deliver better services and improve citizen engagement. A self-confessed “good government geek,” Tim works with government, associations and community leaders to translate policy priorities into real-world results. His current projects cover issues such as economic development, sustainability, resiliency, public safety and open data.


Prior to joining Accela, Tim served as an advisor to U.S. Senator Tom Udall and as a government relations professional at Accenture, a technology and consulting firm.


Tim holds a law degree from American University, Washington College of Law, and received both his Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire.

Presidential politics has the tendency to drown out all other electoral storylines. If you're in need of proof, consider this: marijuana was legalized for either recreational or medical use in eight of nine states in which it was on the ballot, including the big one – California. Cannabis is now legal in some form in 28 out of 50 states, yet that headline has barely been discussed in the mainstream media. This is just one of several public policy issues that will challenge government officials in 2017. Another is the sharing economy. State and local government officials throughout the U.S. have been trying to figure out how to handle the rise of Airbnb and ridesharing services Lyft and Uber for some time. In San Francisco, Airbnb hosts are now required to register and pay fees to the city. But of the 7,000+ residents who rent out their homes, only a little over...
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The below is an excerpt of my guest post on National League of Cities’ Cities Speak blog last week. You can read the full post here. Municipal laws and codes have been forged over decades and are currently facing challenges keeping up with emerging and rapidly expanding regulatory issues such as solar/clean energy and the legalization of marijuana and initiatives like the White House’s Startup in a Day challenge. Even with the best-intentioned legislation, public policy initiatives can stall without the proper tools to enable easy and efficient compliance. So how do governments balance the additional workload required to address these emerging issues with limited staff resources? How can cities keep up with the demands and expectations of their citizens? Fortunately, civic technology, which provides targeted solutions for governments to solve real problems, is experiencing exponential growth, reaching not just urban cities, but also suburbs, farm towns and remote resort villages....
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Several of my Accela colleagues and I recently spent the better part of a week in Nashville, Tennessee, for the annual National League of Cities conference. Compliments to the staff at NLC and the Nashville Host Committee for throwing a fantastic conference, and to the City of Nashville for being such a welcoming place to spend a few days in early November. It was a busy conference for Accela, with numerous presentations to give, an expo booth to run, educational sessions to attend, perhaps a few honky tonk bars to check out… but most importantly, thousands of customers to speak with. Here’s a quick run-through of Accela’s high points for the week. Reinventing the Business of Government panel Maury Blackman, our President and CEO, joined Stonly Baptiste, co-founder of Urban.us, Peter Pirnejad, Palo Alto’s Development Services Director, and moderator Aimee Rawlins, Startup & Innovation Editor for CNN Money, to discuss the...
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I recently spent a hot and humid few days in Charlotte (Mecklenburg County!), North Carolina, which was hosting the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual convention. Vince Nicoletti, the Building Chief from one of our great customers, San Diego County, was asked to share his department’s experience around online solar permitting at NACo’s Technology & Innovation Summit. Vince was also part of the San Diego County team that was being honored by NACo with an award for its Process Improvement Team (“The PIT crew”). San Diego County might be a leading indicator for the rapid growth that we’re expecting to see for residential solar in the coming years — the County has seen a 300 percent increase in requests for solar permits in five years and expects to issue 6,000 in 2015. Many attribute this spike to the ownership arrangements now available that clear away the hefty upfront costs of installation....
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