Kent is certainly not the first City to jump on board the technology band wagon but I’d still categorize us as being one of the first wave of cities experimenting with expanding the use of the internet to better serve and engage citizens.
Without any dedicated funding or staffing for IT, Kent’s efforts are a bit more boot-strapping, learn on the fly, shoestring budget sort of (ad)venture — but that’s part of the beauty of the internet — it opens up lots of doors and windows without breaking the bank. Let’s hear it for open source technology.
What used to be exclusively the realm of cities of the rich and famous who had rooms full of IT staff and robust budgets are now much more accessible to working class cities like Kent. We might not have all the bells and whistles, fancy widgets and high-end apps, but we’re a great example of how to participate in the tech revolution with a little ingenuity and elbow grease.
The Citizen Action Center allows citizens to have access to a knowledge database while also giving them the ability to communicate with City staff through the online service tools. With these tools citizens can ask staff questions, create service requests, and track the progress of their requests.
Using this data we hope to be able to continue to provide better, more convenient and effective service to citizens while saving resources.