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San Bernardino County Shows How Online Permitting can Spur Economic Growth


The  National  Association of Counties  has recogni zed   San Bernardino   with  its  Achievement Award  after the launch of its  high-speed   digital p ermitting system   California’s San Bernardino County’s new permitting system has received top honors from the National Association of Counties (NACo) after earning the organization’s 2018 Achievement Award, an accolade granted to county programs that demonstrate “innovative” service.   NACo announced the awards in  a blog post on May 11 , where it commended the 615 winning programs submitted from 116 counties and state associations across the U.S. The award validates San Bernardino and Accela’s work to build a modern permitting system that can answer the county's growing demand in permitting. In its award  submission , San Bernardino reported that it designed the new system, called EZ Online Permitting (EZOP), to speed up the approval process for economic growth and community improvement projects that had been hampered with long delays caused by its old permitting system.     “With county communities often competing across the...
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3 Strategies for Regulating Cannabis


Denver’s former licensing expert Judy Steele highlights key ingredients in the city’s successful cannabis regulation program   (Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Flickr) With 30 states that have legalized medical marijuana, and eight of those that have legalized recreational marijuana, Denver’s former cannabis licensing expert is offering authorities guidance to regulate the advancing industry.     Judy Steele, the former deputy director of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses (DEL), shared three strategies that helped Denver become the first U.S. city in 2013 to successfully regulate recreational marijuana. Steele, who is now Accela’s director of Cannabis Regulation, outlined the strategies in  a webinar last September  with the intent to assist localities that are launching marijuana licensing programs or improving their current cannabis licensing strategies.   When Colorado voters approved an amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Steele said it required the city to pioneer new regulatory procedures, embrace an unprecedented level of collaboration and to deploy a new set of digital tools. Her hope, she said, is for other cities and local officials to benefit from  Denver’s efforts .   1. Align  L ocal  P rocedures with  S tate  P olicy...
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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...
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Why We Chose Accela Citizen Relationship Management





Guest Blog from City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts Our citizen reporting application wasn’t meeting our needs—it was outdated and cumbersome, and we needed a better tool. I spoke with my Business Development Executive, Ken Cutroneo, about what Accela could provide, and never imagined the possibilities! We were looking for a more robust, digital communications system that would simplify how residents submit requests, receive updates and access city information, and we wanted it to be easy and a time-saver for our staff to use as well. We found our answer in the Accela Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) solution. Implementation a breeze Once I started the process of building our requests, departments, users and workflows into the system, it became evident I could get to a very granular level. Our process was simple at first—take everything in the old system and ask departments if they wanted anything changed in the Accela one. Next...
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Civic Insight Has Seen Major Product Enhancements

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Civic Insight, a cloud-based tool that measures, tracks and visualizes planning, permitting and code enforcement data, has been a part of the Accela family now for about a year. In that time, we have been working diligently to make the product even better for our users. We recently released Civic Insight 3.0, the most significant upgrade to Civic Insight since we first launched in 2012, and we want to tell you about all of the great new enhancements – many of which came about from user feedback and usage. Listening to feedback and working on moving the product forward resulted in the enhancement of two major features: 1) search and 2) analytics. Search The search bar is the most common way to find information in Civic Insight. Because it is used so frequently, we heard many great ideas of how it could be enhanced. In particular, most of our users...
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Removing Barriers with Accela Contractor Central

Removing Barriers with Accela Contractor Central
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When we started our pilot program with Tampa last year, our goal was simple: make it easy for contractors to work with government agencies on the permitting process. Through joint collaboration with the Tampa agency and the contractors they work with, Accela used interviews, prototypes and a fully functioning application to really try and address issues that slowed down the permitting process. The result is a streamlined Contractor Central application , available on iOS and Android, that works with contractors to make their day-to-day jobs easier. How this app idea came about As a company, our mission is to provide the tools that make being a citizen, a business owner and a government employee easier. When we looked at the issues plaguing contractor and government agency interaction, it became clear that there was no one solution for contractors to manage all of the daily tasks they have. Even if an...
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