Rolison checks out the county’s info center
POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro spoke Monday at the Office of Central and Information Services commending staff for achieving second place nationwide in the Digital Counties Survey. Dutchess has ranked in the top 10 for the past 12 years.
This distinction comes from the Center for Digital Government, working in conjunction with the National Association of Counties, to award the best examples of technology use to improve services and boost efficiencies.
Features of Dutchess online access that won their distinction include social media, enterprise content management, parcel access, Dutchess Delivery (a subscription-based “push” information tool), and shared services with local municipalities.
“It speaks volumes to our commitment towards use of technology to enhance efficiency and provide cost savings to taxpayers,” Molinaro said. “We think the use of technology is also about transparency in government, how it’s used to formulate policy and assess needs,” he added.
“We’ve been able to expand our services over the past nine years, although our budget has been lower than it was since 2007,” noted County IT Commissioner Timothy Mahler. Dutchess budget is also smaller than surrounding counties. “We actually have the highest cumulative ranking in the United States since 2009 if you take all of our numbers and put them together, we are actually the highest ranked county as far as IT services.”
“We’re always trying to explain to the public what we’re doing, getting information out, making sure people have access to it,” explained legislative Chairman Robert Rolison. “The easier we can make it for people to see what we’re doing the better it is,” he said. “Better public dialogue leads to better public policy.”
Rolison indicated that the county website lists every new resolution of the legislature, its current status and voting record. Viewers can watch meetings remotely over streaming internet. Dutchess is the only county in New York with an integrated records database shared by law enforcement, courts, prosecutors and public defenders.
City of Beacon, Towns of Dover and LaGrange, plus Arlington Fire District, all contracted with Dutchess County for shared services web development. Officials from each municipality spoke at the presentation, demonstrating their websites portals.
First place in the 2015 Digital Counties Survey went to Chesterfield County in Virginia.