Municipalities doing the digital-dance
Going digital, as we discussed in our previous blog, is not like a light switch: it’s a process. A process that when undertaken, can deliver ease and efficiency to not only municipalities and their teams, but to the constituents in the community.
First, make an assessment of your needs. Assessment is a big word (and if you haven’t had coffee yet), a list would also suffice: what tasks cause the most frustration and what tasks take the most time? By identifying these tasks, the next step would be to search for vendors that meet your needs. Then, find the pamphlets, the brochures, the websites and start reading - all of it (even the fine print, you’ll thank me one day!)
Listing the pros and cons of each vendor and their product enables you to form a clearer picture of what they offer vs how it will meet your needs. Asking for advice, by calling up a colleague or posting to Clerkslist to understand other municipalities' experiences. Last, but not least - trust your gut.
Here are a couple of municipalities and how they incorporated digital municipal solutions into their community:
- The Village of Tiskilwa, Illinois found payments a major obstacle. They implemented HeyGov Pay to process utility, water bills and tax payments using a HeyGov widget on their website. Making it easy for constituents to pay, means enabling compliance throughout the community.
- The Town of Forestville, Wisconsin automated and streamlined its license applications through HeyLicense. Accessible through a widget on the website.
- The Town of Somerset said no to ‘bra-money’ for boat launch permits - both daily and seasonal, by making an online payment option available on their website. Enabling constituents to be summer ready and incoming revenue to be used on other projects in the community.
Chris Astrella, WMCA's Past President, a final word of advice to his colleagues across the state is to use the technology available “…when I started as a Deputy Clerk/Treasurer/Administrator (in 2005!) electronic payments were new and people were still writing checks. Over my career, I’ve seen more and more requests for electronic payments, be it credit cards, e-checks, or even bitcoin. If the technology that is available now was available then, I would have had more time to work (hello efficiency!).”
Municipal solutions are available far and wide.
Search for a solution that matches your needs, as an investment in the community.