Where Can We Develop The Future Of Local and State Government, Together?

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Imagine it’s the second Friday of the month. You’re at work and your boss walks over to you and hands you an envelope. For many of us, this was one of the happiest moments of the month; it’s payday!

You rip open that white envelope to reveal a paystub and a check – hopefully with a couple of numbers before the decimal place. After examining your compensation for two weeks of strenuous and tedious work, you slip the check into your pocket until the end of the day. Once the clock hits closing-time, you finish wiping off the tables and make your way out, quicker than usual! Now, you’re off to the bank.

On your way to the bank, you hit the rush hour traffic. Sitting in a line that is hundreds of car lengths away from your exit, you start to get agitated. It’s uncomfortably hot outside and the person in front of you doesn’t know what it means to press the break softly. Your lunch was 5 hours ago and the grumbling from your stomach starts to become obnoxious. This is when you start to question what time the bank closes in the morning.

“It’s Friday, so tomorrow is Saturday. That means the bank closes at 1:00pm, so I need to get up by 9:00am in order to…” – and then the lanes open up; traffic begins to move freely. You’ve finally reached your exit and you make your way to the bank.

As you pull in, you instantly realize that everybody else got paid that day too. The parking lot is full and you see only a couple of open spots for cars. Remembering the trials and tribulations that you went through in order to get to the bank, you embrace the high number of cars and think to yourself, “the line won’t take too long”, and pull into one of the open spots. As you slowly come up to the door and reach for the handle, you glance through the reflective glass and notice the last person in line is right on the other side. “Well, here we go”, you say to yourself.

“Next.” – “Next.” – “Next.” – After 30 minutes of meandering through the line and eavesdropping on other people’s financial transactions, your turn has finally come to walk up to the teller and share yours. You write out your account information, hand them the check, stand there awkwardly – hoping not to have to make too much small talk – and wait for the teller to work some things in the computer. After they finish their work, they let you know that it will be a couple of business days before you can access and use that money. At the end of this experience, you would consider this a successful trip.

Fast forward to 2021, on the second Friday of the month. You’re at work and your boss walks over to you, hands you an envelope, and walks away. I don’t know about you, but I would question if I’m about to get fired.

Times have changed and old processes are changing! There are more modern and automated solutions for processing your permits, business licenses, public records request, finances, human resource paperwork and so on. The way that you communicate with your residents is no longer by sending them a piece of mail to their home address, but instead you try to connect via social media or some other digital platform. The time has come when you need to develop a better brand than the annual festival that happens next to town hall, and that’s through a beautiful website that showcases the culture of your area. People aren’t getting dressed up to go to a town council meeting anymore, so you have to find new ways to engage your residents with videos and ease-of-use agenda search tools.

Russel Wilson, a famous American football player, said that “The separation is in the preparation”. By building a strategic plan or a comprehensive plan, you’re setting your agency’s bar higher. With govStrategy, you’ll be able to utilize the best practices and the experience of an older city/town/village to enhance the efficiency of your organizations efforts and goals. Take a look at what your successful neighbors are working on and get ideas. Brainstorm with others in your agency and utilize our resources to grow. By combining all of these resources and strategic plans into one area, we’ll be able to grow local government together. Some places might not have a big enough population to justify creating an elaborate comprehensive or strategic plan (it’s recommended that every sized agency create one), so what is another way to develop the future together?

If you feel as though your agency or population isn’t large enough to create a plan (Disclaimer: no agency is too small to create a plan), build your community! It sounds like common sense but a lot of agencies don’t take the time and effort to make their residents feel like they’re a part of something bigger. There are community-building sites out there that can help you with developing the right interface and strategy. In order to develop the future of government together, we need community.

The world is a changing place! Don’t be the person who is “waiting in long lines at the bank”. The idea nowadays is to keep up, because being left behind will leave you confused and unmotivated. Building and developing with strategic and comprehensive plans, along with creating strong communities, is the best way to build together. Don’t be left behind. There are tools and companies that can replace the need for an IT Director with very user-friendly programs. Think about it: the world is more digital than you may have realized.

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