Photo: Bill Schrier, CIO, Seattle/photo by Amanda Koster.
Seattle CIO Bill Schrier is one of four directors that Seattle Mayor-elect Mike McGinn has decided to spare in his transition so far. Two others will stay, but in different jobs. McGinn's team is charged with staffing 27 department head positions in all.
"I'm pretty pleased. If you look at the mayor-elect's program on his campaign site. He is quite tech-savvy," Schrier said.
Schrier said McGinn shared similar views on technology priorities.
"Mayor-elect McGinn ran on a platform of bringing fiber to every home and business in Seattle, something I've advocated for several years," Schrier commented.
Schrier and McGinn are already planning to make 60 data sets available to citizens for doing their own research and creating their own applications. The idea originated with Seattle City Council Member Bruce Harrell. Later in 2010, they plan to hold a contest called Apps for Seattle, similar to contests in the District of Columbia and San Francisco. Apps for Seattle will challenge citizens to use city data to make applications useful to Seattle residents.
"For example, with building permit data, you could build an iPhone app so that if you're standing in a neighborhood, you'll be able to see which permits have closed recently and which permits are open," Schrier said.
He considers his switching of the city completely over to Microsoft 2007, and especially Outlook, to be among his most significant projects under current Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. Microsoft Exchange Server will serve as backup for the e-mail. Schrier and McGinn plan to implement a new customer relationship management system (CRMS) in 2010, and having Outlook e-mail across the board will enable the new system to route citizen e-mails to all necessary parties. Most CRMS vendors interface with Outlook and Exchange, while fewer would interface with the city's current e-mail system, according to Schrier.
Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.