By Elizabeth Smith
The Lynchburg Information Technology Center was recently ranked as one of the top ten digital centers in the country by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government for the ninth year in a row. According to an article from News & Advance, Lynchburg placed fifth among cities of its size in the center’s twelfth annual Digital Cities Survey.
According to Mike Goetz, the director of the IT department in Lynchburg, the department was evaluated about several different duties and tasks that they provide for the local government as well as their use of technology throughout the city of Lynchburg.
Goetz said Lynchburg has been ranked exceptionally high for nine consecutive years because the department is constantly striving to improve technology not only for citizens, but also for the local government.
“It’s a reflection on the willingness of our city council and the city management to use technology to serve citizens and to invest. We’ve spent a lot of money and made an investment in information technology but it has paid us back tremendously with benefits. These [benefits] include not only keeping taxes down and running the government more efficiently, but also providing better service to our citizens,” Goetz said.
“Cities that are investing in technology are seeing tremendous cost savings that are critical to operations and their ability to meet higher demand for services. These cities are true innovators, and we applaud them as they work in the spirit of collaboration to provide extraordinary value to constituents despite budget setbacks.” Todd Sander, executive director of the center, said in a news release.
Goetz mentioned a new program he calls the “new work management system” which he said opened the doors for one of the best customer service IT centers in the nation. The program consists of four departments that work together on a daily basis to coordinate city activities—such as doing road work, fixing pipes, repairing sidewalk. Not only does this program help to keep city functions organized, but it also creates an easier and more effective way for citizens to report a problem in the city.
Before the implementation of the new system, citizens would have to call someone in the city’s IT department and be transferred from person to person before they were connected with someone who could actually fix the problem. Now a citizen can call in about a problem and any IT professional can send in an automatic virtual work order to have the problem taken care of as soon as possible.
Goetz will be taking a trip to Boston, MA November 30 to represent the city of Lynchburg and to receive recognition for the award by the National League of Cities’ 2012 Congress of Cities and Exposition.