mentioned earlier, we're operating in a mobile and global world. With Internet access plus e-mail, instant messaging, wireless data transfer, cell phones, PDAs, and an array of other gadgets and services, everyone expects instantaneous communications and reliable information.
My administration utilizes a number of internal management systems to keep up with the enormous volume of information and requests that we work with daily serving the residents and businesses of Los Angeles. We utilize technology for managing service requests, e-mail for both internal and external communications, and a variety of tracking systems that streamline our operations.
How do term limits for city government officials impact the planning, deployment and continuity of long-term technology projects?
Villaraigosa: They certainly can pose challenges for us. Large-scale IT initiatives often are multiyear projects that span over multiple administrations. We've implemented executive oversight committees for large IT initiatives to ensure that consistent policy and budget management exists throughout the life of a project.
Do you think the city would benefit from a more powerful, centralized CIO position?
Villaraigosa: We need a citywide approach to how we plan, prioritize and implement technology in Los Angeles.
There are myriad technology solutions that can be implemented in the city to help solve business problems and improve service delivery. Technical obstacles or shortages of solutions are not the inhibitors for implementing these solutions, but rather limitations of time and money.
For that reason it is imperative that IT investment decisions are made wisely and with a citywide "big picture" perspective. Having a centralized CIO position would facilitate a more strategic and proactive approach as to how we implement IT.
The city invests approximately $215 million a year on technology with nearly 50 percent on salary and benefits. The greatest percentage spent on systems and infrastructure is for ongoing operations with only 15 percent on new technology. We need to re-look at how we are making investment decisions and how we're deploying systems to ensure that dollars are spent wisely, and that the city receives maximum return on investment.
Thera Bradshaw's leadership charting a more strategic citywide IT plan is key. She has my total support to achieve this goal.
Los Angeles City Council president speaks his mind on muni-sponsored Wi-Fi and other issues.
Is the city's approach to technology changing?
Garcetti: I think our city's been structured to keep government out of your life. What's changed over the last year or two, is we're finally admitting that we're a city instead of a sprawling suburb. So we almost have to rebuild the infrastructure of a city -- both in physical and technological terms -- and embrace being a city.
What kind of infrastructure is needed?
Garcetti: It's not enough to say we're building an infrastructure. We have to know our strengths as a city. Technology exists for us to improve quality of life, and that needs to have actual, real-world manifestations. It has to have character.
In Los Angeles, that character is very much about being the creative capital of the world. We attract people from around the world who want to be actors, grips, directors, editors and music composers. What are we doing to match that with folks who are already here? So that young people growing up in Los Angeles know how to use a movie camera to film footage, go to a computer to edit it, and have access to a distribution system that is publicly owned to show it?
When looking at our cable franchising renewal, for instance, why continue a model of having a big studio that costs a million dollars a year for a few people to