THREE-PEAT FOR DESOTO: CITY WINS 3RD STRAIGHT DIGITAL CITIES AWARD
Digital Efforts Now Ranked 4TH Among US Cities With Populations Up To 75,000
The influential Center for Digital Government (CDG) announced Friday that the City of DeSoto (Texas) has been awarded the coveted Digital Cities Survey Award for the third consecutive year, moving up on the national top ten list from 6th to 4th place among all US cities with populations of up to 75,000. Only ten cities across the nation in each population category receive this award, which is earned by demonstrating the successful use of technology to facilitate citizen interaction, enhance service delivery, and increase transparency.
“I am incredibly proud to see that DeSoto’s ongoing efforts to use the newest technology to connect with our residents and enhance our service delivery have put us even closer to the top of all US cities recognized for providing the best in service,” said DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan. “In addition to recognizing the effectiveness of our customer service, Digital Cities confirms that our efforts at transparency are not only working, but a model for other cities.”
In addition to acknowledging that DeSoto’s sustained improvement in digital operations advanced the city from 6th to 4th place in the top ten of American cities up to 75,000 people, DeSoto was singled-out for digital achievements with customer service and service delivery, for online transparency efforts and for vastly increasing available technology to the users of our library system.
Specifically, here is what Digital Cities had to say about DeSoto's 2018 recognition:
4TH, CITY OF DESOTO, TEXAS (via Govtech.com)
“DeSoto, Texas, has a well-established customer relationship management program, GORequest from GOGovApps, and uses it to track issues in the community, create reports for city administration and improve services for citizens. After an issue closes, the requestor is automatically notified via email and asked for feedback, which is used to improve service. This citizen feedback is also used in reporting performance measures, to establish trends, to support budget purposes and in customer service training.
The Dallas suburb of 52,870 residents prioritizes transparency. The city budget is published on the transparency website, as are reports and charts to help interpret the numbers, a searchable check register, a downloadable check register including payroll, debt transparency information, pension information, and investment policy and tax rates.
This year, the library extended its offerings of digital services programs aimed to attract citizens and increase their involvement in technology. Patrons can check out a GoPro Hero5 camera kit and shoot still photos or videos, then come and edit them at the Sound + Vision Digital Creation Multimedia Station; attend a 3-D printing class and then use the 3-D printer; learn with the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) kit for Nintendo labo; use a virtual reality headset; or make an appointment for Tech Help, where they can get assistance on personal devices from experts.”
Other highlights from DeSoto’s 2018 digital accomplishments submitted to Digital Cities included a regional emergency management plan and training, enhanced city cybersecurity, WiFi in the parks, expanded use of smart technology, and improved visibility and transparency in our City Council chambers by use of extra-large screens.
Mayor McCowan noted that DeSoto’s neighboring city of Dallas also came up a winner in the survey, but wasn’t ranked as high in their category as DeSoto was in theirs. This elicited a good-natured observation from the Mayor who commented, “We are often overshadowed by the big city to our North, but Dallas came in 10th in their population category and DeSoto came in 4th in ours. So while congrats go out to our good friend and neighbor, when it comes to government making excellent use of ‘digital’ technology, DeSoto is really the ‘Big D’ in our region.”
The Digital Cities Survey is now in its 18th year and issues awards annually to the top ten cities in multiple population categories for use of technology to tackle social challenges, enhance cybersecurity, improve transparency and much more.
“This year’s Digital Cities Survey winners are leading the nation when it comes to leveraging data to improve a wide range of city services and initiatives,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Thanks to the efforts of these innovative cities, citizens now benefit from enhanced services as well as improved transparency and privacy protection efforts. Congratulations to the winners!”
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. It is also a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.