When the City Commission meets and votes to implement a policy, more times than not the policy has been vetted through a Target Issue (TI) committee. The City has five Target Issue committees and two city commissioners set on each of the committees. The committees meet on a regular basis and commissioners and city staff vet issues facing the community.
For example, the Innovation and Engagement TI met today at City Hall, with Lead Commissioner Gillum and involved Commissioner Ziffer presiding over the agenda.
The mission of the Innovation and Engagement TI is to serve as a catalyst for promoting citizen participation in all aspects of government life, while identifying new and unique approaches to generate community pride.
Today the Commissioners talked about ways to increase the number of events at the recently developed Fifth Avenue Plaza located in mid-town. Staff described how groups that stage public events get a 50% discount off of in-kind serves provided by the city and indicated that the process of getting permits has been streamlined.
But the meeting was dominated by a presentation on DigiTally – the name for a new mobile digital app that Assistant City Manage Michelle Bono said will be about “all things Tallahassee.” Jim VanRiper of the city’s Information System Services showed how the new app will allow city residents with smart phones to pay electric bills, take pictures of pot holes and send to appropriate department and view information on pets that are available for adoption.
Mr. VanRiper said that this is a trend nationwide. In fact, my review of New York City government website found 10 NYC official digital apps. The apps ranged from “Water On the Go” to “You the Man.” The app is scheduled for a “soft launch” within the next two weeks.
The next Target Issue meeting is on Long Range Planning and is on February 26 at City Hall. Commissioners Nancy Miller and Scott Maddox will be presiding.