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Better government through civic engagement

Using Accela To Meet Department Needs And Save Money

Guest Blog from City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts Recently our Building Maintenance Department informed us of the upcoming license renewal for their internal work order system for the City of Pittsfield. This system was used to report a building issue to the Building Maintenance department, and also housed all of their preventive maintenance calls. Upon further investigation, we learned the cost for renewing the license and bringing the application up to date would be a staggering $42,000. Accela to the rescue A search was conducted to find a less expensive suitable replacement. During the search process, I realized we had a product in our arsenal which could do the job. I approached the Director of Building Maintenance and told him I was pretty sure I could adapt the Accela Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) solution to fit his department’s needs. I met with his staff and examined their request submission, workflow and preventative m......
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National League of Cities Recap: Live from Nashville!

National League of Cities Recap: Live from Nashville!
Several of my Accela colleagues and I recently spent the better part of a week in Nashville, Tennessee, for the annual National League of Cities conference. Compliments to the staff at NLC and the Nashville Host Committee for throwing a fantastic conference, and to the City of Nashville for being such a welcoming place to spend a few days in early November. It was a busy conference for Accela, with numerous presentations to give, an expo booth to run, educational sessions to attend, perhaps a few honky tonk bars to check out… but most importantly, thousands of customers to speak with. Here’s a quick run-through of Accela’s high points for the week. Reinventing the Business of Government panel Maury Blackman, our President and CEO, joined Stonly Baptiste, co-founder of Urban.us, Peter Pirnejad, Palo Alto’s Development Services Director, and moderator Aimee Rawlins, Startup & Innovation Editor for CNN Money, to discuss the current......
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Accela Engage Is Next Week!

Accela Engage Is Next Week!
It’s hard to believe Accela Engage 2015 is almost here! Many of us here at Accela have been working hard for months to make sure this is a great event. From planning the presentations, sessions and training to the event logistics and fun activities (like Paramount Studios Monday night for our Customer Appreciation Dinner!), the office has been a whirlwind of activity. To lighten things up a bit, we recently had a “guess how many pins are in a jar” contest, and the winner is the woman whose team is responsible for much of the design work you’ll see at Engage – be sure to tell her what an amazing job they did when you see her in LA! I’d also like to give a huge shout-out to master event planner Candice Nepomuceno, who is the wizard behind the curtain for this year’s conference. Our multi-talented Creative Director Karla Wong finds time to both ......
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Announcing the Governing Institute’s 2015 Citizen Engagement Awards: Start Nominating Today

Announcing the Governing Institute’s 2015 Citizen Engagement Awards: Start Nominating Today

As the leading platform provider for government, Accela is always looking for innovative approaches to improving access to information and to citizen engagement. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the 2015 Citizen Engagement Awards with the Governing Institute. We’ve collaborated to develop this program to recognize the agencies and champions creating more accessible, transparent and citizen-centric communities.

The awards program is open to any state and local government agency, with the following categories: City/County Government, State Government, and Leadership/Innovator. The Leadership/Innovator category is open to any elected official, government employee, civic organization or nonprofit agency supporting citizen engagement through innovative technology solutions.

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Moving Right-of-Way Management from Spreadsheets to Cloud-Based Coordination [Upcoming Webinar]

Moving Right-of-Way Management from Spreadsheets to Cloud-Based Coordination [Upcoming Webinar]

Coordinating projects in the public right of way keeps traffic moving and people safe. Agencies around the world are using technology to do just that.

Winnipeg, Canada, is a great example of a city that moved from managing projects in spreadsheets to cloud-based, right-of-way planning between different departments, government agencies and utility companies.

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Community-Building for Better Cities

Community-Building for Better Cities

What happens when you gather local officials, city staff, entrepreneurs, designers, developers, journalists and citizens in a room for one day, and ask for their best ideas to improve their communities? You get CityCamp - a lot of excitement, a little chaos, plenty of solutions and a whole lot of action.

CityCamp is a national movement that brings people together to build stronger communities where they live. Core to the CityCamp model is the belief that local governments and community organizations have the most direct influence to make cities more open and “user friendly." CityCamp provides a space for that to happen through locally organized “unconferences.” At an unconference, the agenda is created by attendees and reflects the interests and expertise of those in the room.

The first CityCamp was held in Chicago in January 2010, inspired by other unconferences like Transparency Camp and Gov 2.0 Camp.

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