[Masthead] Mostly Cloudy ~ 61°F  
High: 70°F ~ Low: 54°F
Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015

High-tech ideas suggested for city

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Second in a series

Some of the goals that Shelbyville's departments are putting forth for 2013 could result in city council members becoming more high tech.

City manager Jay Johnson has received a list of goals from department heads and staff on how to work more effectively with the resources at hand. Johnson had requested that the goals be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Among the goals set by Shelbyville's recorder Vickie Haskins is an idea requiring less paperwork and better access to information. She has recommended purchasing electronic tablets or iPads to be distributed to each council member in order to reduce the volumes of paper produced for them.

Better access

It would also allow the council to have immediate access to information given to them concerning prior matters and would speed up the time line for getting the latest documents to them.

Johnson said that many cities are adopting the new technology and a lot of software is available. There will be the initial cost of whatever tablet they might select, as well as the programs.

"But once you pass that hurtle, there (is) a lot of efficiency to be gained," Johnson explained.

Other tasks

Haskins is also planning to develop more technical means to distribute information, while complying with Tennessee's Sunshine Law, and involve more citizens in the decision making process of the city. Johnson said that Haskins stays busy completing the minutes for the beer board, planning commission and board of zoning appeals.

Another goal is to set the city up on the Titlesearcher Web site, in order to allow more thorough research to be done regarding real property and allow city staff to obtain accurate information.

Haskins will look at developing a "sensitive information policy" as it applies to the state's open records laws. Personal information such as Social Security numbers, banking and health information of city employees, as well as private information about members of law enforcement and juveniles that have been arrested must be redacted before being released to the public, Haskins explained.

The city recorder also wants to promote a clerk to the position of assistant recorder to streamline efficiency in her office. The assistant would help with developing policies, insurance and risk management practices, new employee training and developing and implementing a new filing system.

Haskins is to continue the process of scanning and indexing various city records and reorganizing the filing system.

Council goals

Haskins also said while there were "great improvements made in 2012 concerning management of city grants, her long-range goal of comprehensive grant management is "not yet complete."

She said she will be applying for an energy grant for the fire department, other grants for the fire and police departments and looking into a technology grant for records management and the iPad idea for the council.

Last year's goals set forth by the city council strove for economic development, how to enforce property codes to clean Shelbyville and discovering the funding to do so, as well as the continued beautification of the city.

The council also wished for better communications and business relations with Bedford County, working to involve the youth of the community, continuing the city's excellent relations with state officials and promoting education and improving the graduation rate.

The goals for the council are to be reviewed and updated in February.