SACRAMENTO, CALIF. -- Several state and local officials in California took home technology honors at the Center for Digital Government's Best of California awards ceremony Thursday, Dec. 3. Accolades highlighted strength in leadership, applications, IT operations, portals, project delivery and other categories.

San Diego, Calif., Mayor Jerry Sanders was named the best at leadership in solving business and policy problems through technology. For example, after his 2006 election, he deployed OneSD, the city's new financial management system, which connected disparate operations and shaved $2 million to $3 million from the budget. He also supported use of the city's Automated Vehicle Locator and wireless connectivity for scheduling trash and recyclables collection, saving $1 million per year.

Doug Albrecht, director of information management for the Port of Long Beach was recognized for leadership in IT management. The Center for Digital Government referenced several projects he has deployed during his last four years managing the port's IT. For example, he implemented several Web-based applications and established a centralized command and control center, among numerous other upgrades.

The California Department of Personnel Administration's Information Management Services Division received an honor in the Excellence in IT Operations, Support and Service category. The Center for Digital Government cited improvements in the agency's infrastructure, server, application and development environment that occurred in just over six months with only 12 full-time staff as reasons for the award.

Los Angeles County's Graffiti Abatement Referral System (GARS) was singled out as one of the best applications serving the public. The GARS combines GIS with a Web interface to automate the county's graffiti response and incident reporting. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works saves $534,000 in labor and other associated costs annually due to the system.

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Andy Opsahl  | 

Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.