Rossland city council met with an IT service provider on Thursday afternoon to discuss the city’s tech-related goals.
Mayor and council were joined by Brian Fry and Dave Cornelius from the city’s broadband task force to speak with Leslie Kilpatrick Macdonald, business consultant at MYRA Systems, “a privately owned technology solutions provider.” The purpose of the meeting was for Macdonald to gain a better understanding of the IT services that the city requires.
What the city is looking for, in a nutshell, is a system that will allow residents and tax payers to pay fees and submit forms, ask questions or lodge complaints, and book recreation classes — all online, rather than in person — with the goal of providing better service.
“We would like to consider ourselves customer service oriented,” said Mayor Kathy Moore, who also explained to Macdonald that ultimately the city needs its IT services to support council in fulfilling its mandate “to provide cost-efficient and effective municipal services to residents, visitors and businesses in a collaborative and cooperative fashion to ensure a well-managed, well-governed, viable community.”
Council would also like to introduce open data. Councillor Aaron Cosbey shared his vision for how open data could help improve customer service during the meeting.
“If I have a streetlight out … can I put that online? And then you link up to the other [open data] system … that says there are 19 street lights out in town, and here they are, and here’s the amount of time it’s gonna take for them to get back up,” said Cosbey.
But the city’s IT goals don’t just include improving external communication. Mayor and council would like IT services to provide better internal communications and support for city staff. Of course, all of these services need to be balance against the cost of delivering them.
For her part, Macdonald assured council that MYRA would be take a number of factors into account when proposing an IT solution for the city.
“I will balance cost, I will balance innovation, I will tell you what’s out there, and the other thing is I will balance risk, and I will make you aware of the risks,” said Macdonald.