But that is my job - to take a request or question and match it with the person who can produce it. Doing that electronically dramatically increases efficiency and speed.
GT: Where or how did you learn about technology? Was it from when you were the D.A. helping to automate the D.A's office?
Goldsmith: That and the child support experience really were the key components. Through tape matching and access to databases we were able to track down absent dads to cease their assets and give them to the moms. Computers generated ways, I think, and changed the landscape for child support enforcement. Also, it was invaluable in educating me about the power of these systems.
GT: So when you became mayor, did you understand these things or the concepts you related earlier about how technology will enable changes in running a city government?
Goldsmith: Yes, I think so. Although, I think that the problem we have, in government generally, is that every city buys lots of gadgets. Most big cities have all sorts of computer tools. What we don't do very well is have persons whose job it is to find applied technologies because that requires a combination of understanding information tools and work processes.
How do you use technology to change the workplace itself? We're fortunate to have had some retired company information executives help us figure out our system and basically determine how all the archaic approaches to purchasing, inventory, human resources can be gathered.
As mayor, I think we often miss an opportunity to improve productivity through more applied uses of technology. It's typical of what we've read in the past. People computerize archaic systems and then think they're sophisticated when they ought to use the computerization and the computer implementation as an opportunity to reengineer the whole process. I'm still extremely frustrated that our police courts are not paperless since it would be very easy to do. I couldn't believe our zoning maps weren't digitized. Obviously, somebody has to concentrate on improving productivity as a result of technology.