County skills rated nationally
Technology plays a major role in delivering county services. Most services you receive from the county rely on an individual piece of technology. These range from the visible official Web site http://www.MyNevadaCounty.com to a broad array of services that include issuing dog licenses, tracking a reported pot hole, dispatching 911 calls and processing building permit applications.
The county’s wide range of technologies make employees more productive, helping the county maintain lower staffing levels today than were present five years ago. Technology enables the county to offer enhanced public online Internet services such as renewing your library books and makes the county more transparent and accessible by placing thousands of government documents on-line and by enabling live video public meeting broadcasts.
While internal business processes are not always visible to the public, they have a major impact on the county’s overall organizational productivity and capacity to deliver our external public services. Electronic Time Sheets (eTS) and Electronic Personnel Action Forms (ePA) are two recent improvements to formerly labor- and paper-intensive processes that were automated by Auditor Controller Marcia Salter and Human Resource Director Gayle Satchwell. Previously, time sheets were a paper form completed by all county employees every two weeks. This produced over 32,000 forms annually, which, where filled out by hand, manually routed across the organization through various levels of payroll processing steps, and finally filed in multiple locations. It was a similar situation for our personnel action form which facilitates over 25 human resource processes from changing an employee’s home address to adjusting their payroll deductions. Both processes are now automated and paperless.
A recent project that directly increases public safety is Sheriff Keith Royal’s new data wireless network that put mobile computers in patrol vehicles. Deputies now have direct access to local and State public safety data in the field. This project required the construction of a new wireless data network that would reliably operate in our challenging topography and provide broader coverage than what cell phone companies can offer.
Child Support Director Kathy Hrepich implemented a project that reduced the time it takes to issue child support orders from 4 to 6 weeks down to 15 minutes. This first-in-the-nation project, a collaboration with our local Courts, utilizes video conferencing so that child support legal staff can process the court orders in real time remotely at their Grass Valley office. This enables the orders to then be printed, signed by the court commissioner, and issued to the parties soon after the hearing. The State and Federal governments are both interested in replicating this project at other counties. This project has already won several awards and is currently a finalist for the Ash Institutes Innovations in American Government Program Award at Harvard University.
The http://www.MyNevadaCounty.com Web site made the top 10 in a nationwide award competition for the best county websites from the Center for Digital Government. At almost five years old, we feel the Web site’s look and feel is getting dated. We hope to give it a fresh makeover this coming year. It is challenging to coordinate and deliver such a vast array of public services from a single website, but we strive to improve it and welcome your comments and suggestions. We know it can be frustrating to citizens who are not familiar with county structure, so we really need your input to make it more user- friendly. Please submit comments to the “contact us” link on the website.
Many other great technology projects were accomplished in the past year as well, including two other award winning projects. http://www.Dial211.com community resource directory website is a great community collaboration lead by Social Services Director Alison Lehman that lists information on local services from 1,141 providers. The http://www.NCTEEN.com site provides information to local teens on teen activities, focusing on drug use and avoidance information. This project was also a successful community collaboration lead by county webmaster Dave Bloch.
Other technology projects completed this year include:
Self-check-out kiosks at the libraries
Reverse 911 mass citizen emergency notification system
Live video broadcasting of public meetings
New technology projects we are working to implement include:
Public meeting Internet streaming and video on demand
Criminal justice systems modernization
Public geographic information system Internet applications
Refreshing http://www.MyNevadaCounty.com look, feel, and navigation
In 2007 Nevada County won first place for being the most “Digital County” under 150K population in the nationwide award program from the Center for Digital Government. We continually strive to improve and add to our on-line citizen based services, to enable county employees to be more effective, and to be as cost efficient as possible. More information on Nevada County technology activities and plans can be found at http://www.MyNevadaCounty.com/is.
Chief Information Officer
County of Nevada
County technology numbers:
900+ desktop computers
3000+ network attached devices
20 video conferencing units
40 locations networked together
135 servers in several data centers
60 major software applications
30 IT staff positions
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