by Juliette Goodwin
Baltimore County Office of Information Technology
Some of the most creative times in my life have been the result of being broke. I had to learn how to exist on very little money. A dish that saw me through leaner years was rice and beans-inexpensive and simple to prepare. I dressed it up with extras when I could afford to, but even in its most basic state, rice and beans sustained me for long periods of time.
Baltimore County recently won a spot in the top ten Digital Counties Survey by responding to a similar problem: How does local government improve the way it does business with fewer resources than in the past? The Center for Digital Government, in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo) conducted the survey, A panel of expert judges reviewed responses - the top ten winners demonstrated successful use of technological solutions to county priorities on a limited budget.
The year and a half I've worked for the county, the move to streamline has been swift. Instead of customers traveling to County offices to do business, services like paying Property Taxes or reporting potholes can now be taken care of online.
Financial necessity is responsible for much of this change, as is a keen interest by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in the county's web presence. The outcome has resulted in processes becoming easier and more accessible to the public, and less of a burden on taxpayers.