Ensuring that residents receive vital information in a timely fashion is an essential function of a government. However, Councilman Ryan Jones does not believe we are currently doing enough to accomplish that core service. “Sadly, our town functions mostly on word of mouth, because we do a poor job of enabling a dialogue with our businesses and residents. That’s how misinformation and rumors spread. We need to do a lot more in this area.”
Earlier this year, the Council laid the foundation for significant improvements to technology that should enable the beginning of interactive dialogue between residents and the borough.
“GovPilot,” Councilman Alai explained, “has the ability to completely transform the way our town functions. It’s going to provide a real voice for residents and provide them with a ton of information. And once we start showing the departments the many benefits that will simplify their workflow, it will begin to transform the way we collect data and improve from it.”
Councilwoman Meira, who is also on the newly created Communications Committee with Councilman Jones added, “We’re developing a variety of programs and policies that should come online in the next couple months that we’re hoping will be a huge hit with residents. We’re listening and trying to implement these changes as efficiently as possible.”
The goal of this new technology is to give residents meaningful ways to provide the borough with feedback, to report concerns, and to enable online signup, registration, and application. And residents who don’t like using new technology will also benefit. “This is about collecting data in ways that aren’t presently being done. More knowledge means being able to better service all residents regardless of whether you enjoy the web. Besides, there’s a phone based component to all of this we’re calling “CALL-it” and will allow folks who simply want to pick up the phone to accomplish many of the same things.”
In addition to the GovPilot investment, the Council is looking at providing significantly more information on our borough website. Currently, many questions linger because the information is difficult to find or completely missing from the borough website. The Communications Committee is working closely with the new webmaster to develop processes to streamline this process and develop new ways to inform residents.
Finally, the Council believes that a huge asset in the borough, our television station TV35, could serve as a greater resource for residents much in the way it does in other towns. The TV35 Advisory Committee is taking a different approach this year and believes that encouraging volunteers is the first step in developing an improved television resource.
Council Liaison to the committee, Councilman Jones, said, “I think the sky is the limit on what we could do with our station if we encourged others to run with their ideas.”
Jones believes many of these projects will be publicly unveiled in the next several weeks.