News

Council finally tackles technology goals

The city is finally moving forward with a City Council goal from last year to better use technology and the Internet to serve the city's tech-savvy residents.

In a study session Tuesday, council members expressed frustration that Mountain View was not moving quickly enough on the project and that the website wasn't as simple and easy to use as it could be. City-hired consultant Pacific Technologies Inc. pointed to the website for Redmond, Wash. which PTI said it helped develop into an exemplary city government website.

While Mountain View's website has most of the components of a good website, "We've never had a usability expert look at it," said council member Ronit Bryant. "I should be able to find the information very easily."

A major complaint about the city's website by council members has been the difficulty in searching past council reports. Non-council members also have a hard time finding city council agendas and reports before meetings on the city's website, which links to a complicated document retrieval system. Other improvements could include the incorporation of the GIS mapping system the planning department uses onto the site, as other cities have done.

The "strategic plan" the city is coming up with isn't limited to the website. The goal is to "lay the foundation for how city will use technology to meet the needs of the community and residents." It could include, for example, the ability for people to make appearances at City Council meetings via Skype, said council member Mike Kasperzak.

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Resident Bruce England called on the council to establish a task force of the city's residents and technology experts to inform the process, but council members said that would be too time consuming and proposed having a meeting to gather the input instead. PTI is conducting focus groups this week to gather input for the project from city employees.

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Council finally tackles technology goals

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Mar 9, 2011, 1:10 pm

The city is finally moving forward with a City Council goal from last year to better use technology and the Internet to serve the city's tech-savvy residents.

In a study session Tuesday, council members expressed frustration that Mountain View was not moving quickly enough on the project and that the website wasn't as simple and easy to use as it could be. City-hired consultant Pacific Technologies Inc. pointed to the website for Redmond, Wash. which PTI said it helped develop into an exemplary city government website.

While Mountain View's website has most of the components of a good website, "We've never had a usability expert look at it," said council member Ronit Bryant. "I should be able to find the information very easily."

A major complaint about the city's website by council members has been the difficulty in searching past council reports. Non-council members also have a hard time finding city council agendas and reports before meetings on the city's website, which links to a complicated document retrieval system. Other improvements could include the incorporation of the GIS mapping system the planning department uses onto the site, as other cities have done.

The "strategic plan" the city is coming up with isn't limited to the website. The goal is to "lay the foundation for how city will use technology to meet the needs of the community and residents." It could include, for example, the ability for people to make appearances at City Council meetings via Skype, said council member Mike Kasperzak.

Resident Bruce England called on the council to establish a task force of the city's residents and technology experts to inform the process, but council members said that would be too time consuming and proposed having a meeting to gather the input instead. PTI is conducting focus groups this week to gather input for the project from city employees.

Comments

Waldo
Waverly Park
on Mar 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm
Waldo, Waverly Park
on Mar 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm
3 people like this

It would seem that Bruce England had a really good idea about enlisting ideas from local experts. Since we have waited this long, why not take a little more time, to be sure we get it right?


greycat
another community
on Mar 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm
greycat, another community
on Mar 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm
3 people like this

Speaks volumes that Mountain View hired PTI, (a Bellevue, WA firm) to handle their technology. Oh my goodness, we should *so grateful* for the opportunity to serve on a task force to "inform the process". Thanks for supporting the local economy folks.

Web Link


Tony
Castro City
on Aug 4, 2011 at 11:36 am
Tony, Castro City
on Aug 4, 2011 at 11:36 am
3 people like this

So I heard we're ranked really high compared to others in the area. Where are the results?


Tony
Castro City
on Aug 4, 2011 at 11:36 am
Tony, Castro City
on Aug 4, 2011 at 11:36 am
3 people like this

Did anyone from the local area compete for the project?


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