Carson gets info-tech kudos | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson gets info-tech kudos

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com

For the fourth consecutive year, Carson City won recognition as a top-10 digital city in rankings released for 2013 by the Center For Digital Government.

John Wilkinson, city government's information technology director, said the city finished third in its population category, trailing Palo Alto, Calif., and Fayetteville, Ark. The center that conducts the survey is a national research and advisory institute focusing on information technology and best practices. Technology spurs government efficiency, Deputy City Manager Marena Works said.

"Carson City takes being on the forefront of technology seriously, and this represents a citywide acceptance and embracing of the future," she said. "With the ever increasing strain on budgets, technology aids us in doing more with less."

Focusing on results, Wilkinson said, the center analyzed such things as operating efficiencies, realization of strategic objectives, innovative and creative solutions or approaches, effective collaboration, transparency measures and the like.

"It's pretty competitive," he said.

He cited various factors that helped lead to Carson City's continuing recognition, including the @Two Digital Center on the second floor at the Carson City Library, the Public Works Department's capability to provide "smart utility operations" with technological tools, and the Quad County Interconnect Network that links Carson City technology with those of nearby counties.

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He said the quad-counties program can make "shared services become a lot more of a reality" and provides economies of scale.

Wilkinson indicated that in some places, people exhibit fear or are slow to adopt technology, but that isn't the case with Carson City's government staff.

"Here," he said, "people are hungry for new technology."

Carson City finds itself in some interesting company by being in the top three in the smallest of the four population categories.

The top three in the 250,000-plus category were Boston, Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Fla. In the 125,000-250,000 group, the top three were Irving, Tex., Augusta, Ga., and Alexandria, Va. In the population category just above Carson, from 75,000-125,000, the top trio included Avondale, Ariz., West Palm Beach, Fla., and Roseville, Calif.