Saving Open Data in the Town of Cary
The Town of Cary needs your help
0$ are in the Cary 2014 budget for Technology. This means no money to continue the Open Data efforts in Cary (or to fix the Town website usability issues, develop mobile apps, roll out customer engagement platforms, etc.). The budget will be approved on June 27.
Town Council will respond to requests from the citizens. The former Technology Task Force members are the only ones contacting our council and this is not enough to sway their priorities. Please take a minute to compose an e-mail to the council about what areas of Technology you feel the Town should be investing in this coming year. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Town of Cary convened a 9 member commission to look at how the Town is and should be using Technology to interface with its citizens. In Fall 2012, the Technology Task Force (TTF) took a deep dive into many areas and came up with 71 recommendations for the Town We met for over 160 hours and developed a report that numbers 239 pages.
The Full report can be found at http://www.townofcary.org/Assets/Staff+Reports/AD13-006+Technology+Task+Force+Report.pdf).
This Spring, the Town Staff took those recommendations and developed a plan for implementation. In looking at the internal correspondence of the staff, via a Public Records Request, it was clear that the staff tackled this task with enthusiasm and energy and brought a 4 tier plan to Council.
We were surprised when our Town Manager, Ben Shiver, presented his 2014 budget plan that did not include any expenditures for Technology (Refer to YouTube: http://youtu.be/q7WQ8IjGfF4#t=36m10s 37:41)
What can be done?
So far Council Member Lori Bush is the only one on Council acting to try and get anything Technology into the budget, and the remainder of the Council do not have a feeling sufficient to change the Town Managers Budget for Technology. We need a ground swell of citizens to plead the Technology case to our Town Council to have any chance of changing their minds. For example, at the May 23 Council meeting a plea by 4 seniors for funding pickleball made a big impact on the council and those in attendance at the meeting.
We have chosen 2 areas as low hanging fruit that we feel are the building blocks to help adoption of the remainder of the TTF recommendations; Open Data and support for the Code for America Brigade.
Please send your thoughts to the Council as soon as you can. Enlist your friends and/or come out to speak about the need for Technology at the next Town Council meeting on June 13th.
From the Technology Tank's Ian Henshaw