Escondido, CA Improves Legislative Management with CivicPlus®
Keys to Project: :
Agenda Prep, Workflows, Public Access & Transparency
Escondido, California, is the City of Choice. Settled in a long valley in the coastal mountains of Southern California, Escondido, which means “hidden” in Spanish, lies about 30 miles northeast of San Diego. A growing number of people are choosing to make Escondido their home—their “City of Choice.” It is one of the few remaining communities where people of all income levels can enjoy the Southern California lifestyle. Escondido was recently named by Money Magazine as the Best Place in the West in which to retire and, at the other end of the spectrum, was named a Kid-Friendly City for its broad range of youth programs. Ladies Home Journal also ranked Escondido number eight among the Top Ten Cities for Government.
Compared to what we were spending before, we have reduced our agenda preparation time by 40-50%
City of Escondido City Clerk
As a leader in a community that appeals to such a broad population, Zack Beck, City of Escondido City Clerk, must ensure all legislative communications are easily consumable and accessible by seniors, established residents, young families, and everyone in between. In 2022, Beck faced the challenge of collaborating with multiple internal stakeholders whenever he needed to create and finalize an agenda for an upcoming meeting. The manual processes Beck followed to collaborate with stakeholders on agendas were time-consuming. He needed a way to streamline the City’s agenda management process. He also needed a central, digital place where residents could easily find meeting materials
After meeting with several technology companies, Beck selected the easy-to-use Agenda and Meeting Management solution from CivicPlus.
Since implementing the CivicPlus Agenda and Meeting Management solution, Beck has put time back into his day.
“Things have become more efficient,” Beck said. “I have been able to cut down the work significantly, and everything is now centralized for our internal stakeholders. The process has become easier for the public as well. All the agenda items are in one place. Stakeholders can find all the minutes and recordings. It makes our lives easier as they can self-service their needs and find the information they need.”
With limited staff and bandwidth, Beck notes, online legislative self-service functionality helps residents—and the administrative staff members who serve them—save valuable time and effort.
Reducing Agenda Preparation Time by 50%
“Compared to what we were spending before, we have reduced our agenda preparation time by 40-50%,” said Beck. “This time reduction is mostly due to CivicPlus’ Agenda and Meeting Management software’s workflow engine and the ability for multiple stakeholders to use the software to upload reports and review items.”
Around 40 municipal leaders in Escondido use the CivicPlus Agenda and Meeting Management solution to collaborate on documents, including various department leaders, the City’s attorneys, public works department leaders, and engineers. With so many busy people contributing information, the software’s automated notifications have been critical to document finalization.
“We have saved a lot of time thanks to the software’s workflows and automatic notifications,” said Beck. “We no longer have to send multiple emails to receive feedback on agenda requests and packet documentation.”
Enabling Remote Operations Across Devices and Electronic Voting
Beck says that a significant benefit of the CivicPlus Agenda and Meeting Management system for the City of Escondido is the ability for City staff to use the software’s administrative console remotely and across devices.
Beck says, “It has significantly helped with electronic voting. People can easily vote electronically on tablets during meetings, saving us from using paper-based processes. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we could have council members take votes directly from mobile phones if they could not attend meetings in person.”
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