If you could change one thing about your city/town’s government, what would it be?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about posts from fellow GovLoopers (or are we Loopies?):
Andrew‘s forum discussion asking “If you could change one thing about govenment, what would it be?
Adriel‘s blog post on Gov 2.0 in local government.

I think that, given the fact that local government has more limited resources, we’re doing a pretty good job of using the internet to connect with our citizens and other interested parties. Most local governments have video streaming or at least a video archive of their governance meetings; most common questions can be answered online by searching the official web site’s FAQ section (whether that is easy to find or not is more questionable); most places facilitate online payment of common fees or charges.

Is that your experience? Where can we improve? What was the last thing you did when you had to interact with the city or town where you live? How could that have been made easier for you?

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Hi Paulette – Good to zero in on local here – thanks. At the National League of Cities annual event next week in Orlando, I’ll try to ask these question of participants that I meet. Maybe local is more nimble than state and Federal…just with fewer resources?

Sharon Tewksbury-Bloom

I work for Arlington County and I think local government is a great place to start with Web 2.0 and online initiatives. Arlington County already uses numerous online payment systems, blog, electronic records management systems, and online tools or interactive features. In fact our website, http://www.arlingtonva.us uses the “Get It Done Online” sidebar in most departments to feature these tools.

In the volunteer office we use Volunteer Solutions to manage an online interactive database of volunteer opportunities: http://www.volunteersolutions.org/acvo/volunteer/home/

Check out our blog at http://www.whatsuparlington.blogspot.com

Stephen Buckley

My local government does not have a formal policy & procedures that shows (1) how its ideas turn into proprosals, and then into projects, and (2) at what parts of that decisionmaking process the pubic is allowed to participate.

The town coucil (actually they are called the Board of Selectmen here in New England) has no clue about anything resembling the federal Administrative Procedures Act. And why should they? The only reason that I do is because I worked in D.C. for 25 years.

I’ve looked for something that I can explain to them, like “The 5 Steps to Public Decisionmaking”, but I can’t find anything. If only the ADA had a local version … with bullets.