AT&T and Government Technology have launched a nationwide platform for special districts that includes a regional awards program with three categories to recognize IT innovation and leadership. An evaluation committee will review nominations in the three categories below and select award recipients in each of the five regions. Submissions may be entered by the public or private sector. Awards will be presented at each of the corresponding regional Special District Summits. Click here for regional event registration.
This category recognizes special districts that have utilized technology to improve service delivery to citizens – for example, increased customer satisfaction, enhanced user experience, accelerated access to services, et al.
This category recognizes special districts that have utilized technology to improve internal operations – for example, efficiency and productivity improvements, cost reduction, enhanced security, improved processes, advanced sustainability, et al.
This category recognizes special district leaders who have led technology innovation initiatives that go above and beyond to positively impact the community and / or operations. The nomination should highlight vision, leadership and support of information technology.
West - March 21
Northeast - April 17
Southeast - May 22
Southwest - June 26
Midwest - July 11
Project SOAR: Housing Authority of the City of Prichard, Alabama
The agency implemented innovative initiatives to increase connectivity and approved devices for 35 percent of its households. For instance, a summer camp offered basic computer training where participants received certificates and free laptops they built; training programs helped families with job applications, certifications or online degrees; and a three-month class helped senior citizens learn how to access Social Security and other sites.
Water Well Construction Module: St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida
The district developed a scalable mobile- and user-friendly Water Well Construction Module to improve productivity for water well contractors in the field, increase customer satisfaction, improve permit accuracy and accelerate the permit application process.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI): North Springs Improvement District, Florida
The district’s AMI infrastructure uses low-power radio transmitters connected to individual water meters to send hourly readings to a network of rooftop receivers, which creates a database that works seamlessly with the billing system and eliminates property meter readings. This has decreased customer complaints and water usage, and increased revenue annually by eight percent.
Technology Projects: Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District, Florida
The district reduced operating costs and increased safety by adding radio repeaters to every fire vehicle, allowing radio communication inside buildings to reach fire fighter’s face masks. In addition, the district designed a system for tracking radios, tools and expiring stocks of drugs with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, which provided hard-dollar savings.
Data Consolidation Initiative: Southwest Florida Water Management District
The district developed a centralized GIS-based application that consolidated several disparate record keeping systems of land data into a single system available to all district staff. This initiative provides increased transparency and asset visibility and improved maintenance data.
Trust Central: The Children’s Trust, Florida
Trust Central automated The Children’s Trust processes. Data is now tracked as it moves from one business process to another, and Program Metrics captures usage data, produces dashboards, integrates nearly double the data points as previously, and produces funding strategies in under four hours. The time to execute contracts has been cut in half.
Neighborhood Master Plan: Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The Northwest Gardens Neighborhood Master Plan is LEED certified and each site has a computer lab and library for residents. After building neighborhood walking trails and deploying cameras with public access to the live stream, the crime rate dropped over 50 percent. The Housing Authority also operates the StepUP apprenticeship program that trains and educates high school dropouts with criminal backgrounds – over 15 percent of the agency's full-time workforce are graduates of the StepUP program.
Cherrie Calloway: Neighborhood Networks Technical Trainer, Tampa Housing Authority, Florida
Calloway led the agency’s ConnectHome USA program by creating “Internet Cafes“ in several public housing developments, which brought high-speed internet to residents. Residents use the computers provided or their own devices and can receive training in several areas such as Microsoft office and social media. Calloway also manages three “smart-home communities” that offer free access to WiFi and computers and laptops. She has saved the agency thousands of dollars and enhanced the lives of residents through technology.
Shawn Hanson: Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal, Greater Naples Fire Rescue District, Florida
Under the leadership of Deputy Chief Hanson, the district implemented a district-wide Rapid Access (key) Solution to decrease emergency response times and expedite access to victims inside private and commercial occupancies and more than 50 public schools. This cloud-based emergency vehicle system also enhances security and accountability. Hanson initiated the program and partnership with local law enforcement, emergency medical services, the public school system and other fire rescue agencies.
Wheels2U Micro-Transit Service: Norwalk Transit District, Connecticut
Wheels2U is a new on-demand shuttle service app that allows riders to request pickup and drop off locations. Each shuttle has a tablet that tracks trip statistics and provides an app that drivers use for navigation, live traffic conditions, and real-time pick-up and drop-off information. Since the app, ridership levels are growing at a rate of 20 percent each week.
meterUP Mobile Pay App: Philadelphia Parking Authority, Pennsylvania
The authority created a custom mobile parking payment app “meterUP” and engaged in extensive digital marketing campaigns throughout the city educating people on its use. Usage has grown from 7 percent of parking transactions to nearly 30 percent, and the app store rating is 4.8 out of 5.
Web-based Applications: Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Pennsylvania
After being outfitted with iPads, plumbers and field technicians can populate work orders in an app within 60 seconds, and locate and map their assignments using GIS integration and web-mapping services. The assignment procedure is so streamlined that they can now drag and drop assignments on a dashboard.
Margaret Zampini: Manager of IT Communications and Customer Services, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Zampini successfully led a multitude of technology projects that spanned the authority’s strategic priorities. She used project governance as a strategy for the department’s mission, and initiated a research project to refine current financial policies to ensure Technology Department needs were balanced with other business departments.
Philip True Savino: Chief Technology Officer, Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
True’s leadership strategy has been to reduce capital and operating costs while increasing resources and efficient processes. He has successfully implemented cloud and IoT technologies, including the “Wanted Plate” stealth alerting using license plate recognition (LPR) and an LPR deployment in conjunction with online registration for the Residential Parking Program.
Ai Yamanaka: Data Analytics Program Manager, Aviation Department, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Yamanaka built a data analytics team in the Aviation Department, which uses analytical tools to maximize facility efficiency. She is also creating an aviation data analytics warehouse and data dashboard to maintain live-assessment and operational data and vital key performance indicators for the busy airport system.
MyWater MNWD: Moulton Niguel Water District, California
The district deployed a secure, cloud-based portal where customers can pay bills, view their water usage, learn about water conservation programs such as turf replacement and rebates, sign up for paperless bills and watch conservation videos – all from their mobile phones.
Mobile App: South Coast Air Quality Management District, California
In addition to viewing new air quality forecasts, a new one-stop mobile app lets residents access an interactive map, temperature and weather, alert notifications, and the location of hundreds of alternative fuel stations. Previously available only for IoS, the application now has an Android version as well.
Food Handler Card Testing System: Southern Nevada Health District
The Food Handler Card Testing System was developed to assess and test safe food handling practices of individuals applying for a Food Handler Card, which is required for everyone who works with food or beverages in Southern Nevada. The new system administers 11,000 tests per month in five locations, is available in 18 different languages, and has reduced customer fees by 50 percent.
Mobile App and Supporting Infrastructure: Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District
Over the past five years the district made the transition from a paper-based field data collection system to an infield mobile application using tablets. The database provides the foundation to track disease surveillance, target outreach campaigns and deliver useful data that maximizes connectivity for field staff.
Mobile Special Technology and Aerial Response (MSTAR) Concept Vehicle: Menlo Park Fire Protection District, California
The district created this unique mobile response platform to support public safety connected devices, such as drones. MSTAR Concept Vehicle provides acres of on-scene Wi-Fi, drone quick launch, satellite video streaming and computing support – which is significant progress in creating a connected emergency response capability.
myEBS Search: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
This web application provides employees with a personalized, intelligent dashboard, alerts and search capabilities for their financial information. Used on both desktop and mobile devices, myEBS Search has improved productivity and efficiency, saved costs and enhanced security for internal operations.
Real-Time Distribution System Monitoring Using Mobile Technology: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Mobile technology now enables Real-time water quality monitoring in the water distribution network. The district also automated processes for collecting samples and entering data. Data is now entered directly into mobile devices - resulting in improved data integrity and reliability, and more efficient business processes.
Stefan Jaskulak: Chief Financial Officer/Director of Administrative Services, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, California
Casey Hiatt (pictured): Acting IT Manager accepting award on behalf of Stefan Jaskulak
Jaskulak drove the formation of an integrated administrative services business line with training, conferences and co-location. He also provided a roadmap for the next three years of organization-wide process and technology improvements. Under his leadership, the district has a foundation to sustain its recent organizational growth and diverse programs, as well as to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving environment.
Ron Moskowitz: Chief Information Officer, South Coast Air Quality Management District, California
Within one year, Moskowitz implemented policy and governance changes that have greatly aligned IT closely with the goals of the district. He has spearheaded several successful projects, including the district’s mobile app, the “Replace Your Ride” program and online filing for permit applications. His project management skills and experience contributed to the increased efficiency and quality of every aspect of these projects.
Lauren Skiver: CEO/General Manager, SunLine Transit Agency, California
For the past five years, Skiver has helped the agency move to a performance-driven environment and has delivered a very robust capital program. Under her leadership, the alternative fuels program and the zero-emissions fleet continue to grow. She also initiated the “Rethink Transit” initiative – which includes an app-based ride-share service, micro-transit and “quick bus” routes. Skiver is committed to providing clean renewable fuels and is a founding member of the Zero Emission Bus Alliance (ZEBRA), where she currently serves as chair.
Landlord Program Enhancements: Atlanta Housing Authority, Georgia
The Atlanta Housing Authority created a Landlord Portal to give landlords immediate access to inspection results and request re-inspections after remediating noted deficiencies. The authority also provided inspectors with tablets to support mobile property inspection filing, improved efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint. So far in 2018 the authority has made 1,000 new housing units available to participants, helping to bring more affordable housing to the city.
Remote Monitoring of Plant Operations: Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District, Florida
During Hurricane Irma, the district’s operations departments used real-time remote monitoring processes, including multiple cameras, various “level” indicators, automatic start and stop functions, historical trends and alarm set points. This enabled continuous operations before, during and after the hurricane – and helped keep personnel safe.
Edward L. Johnson: Chief Executive Officer, Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX)
Johnson leverages technology to achieve his vision of mobility management – putting individuals in the most cost-effective and direct mode of travel for themselves and for LYNX. In 2017, he rolled out free Wi-Fi on all 300 LYNX buses and implemented four mobile apps. Johnson’s leadership is also instrumental in the Central Florida Autonomous Vehicle Partnership, which is working to demonstrate the effectiveness of autonomous vehicles in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, as well as developing the plan for the integration of autonomous and connected vehicles, called the Autonomous Vehicle Mobility Initiative (AVMI).
Website Redesign: Chicago Park District, Illinois
By leveraging citizen testing and feedback, using open source platforms, implementing mobile-responsive design, and integrating the procurement portal and contract library for streamlined bid submission, the Chicago Park District (CPD) was able to redesign its website and drastically improve the user experience. CPD has since seen a 13 percent increase in online revenue and a 25 percent increase in page load time.
Wet Weather Map: Great Lakes Water Authority, Michigan
The Great Lakes Water Authority developed a GIS map that displays real-time data along its interceptors and at its rain gauges, which increases transparency and improves communication and response times during wet weather events. The map is color-coded with flashing symbols to indicate rate of precipitation, opening gates, water levels and what is happening up to 20 miles upstream. The map is accessible from mobile devices, which has tripled the number of users.
Wesley Goodwin: IT Manager, Applications, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Ohio
Goodwin was the visionary behind – and now manages -- Greater Cleveland RTA’s “Trip Planner.” The app offers riders personalized multi-modal transportation options like rail, bus and trolley alongside features that allow users to find landmarks, amenities, entertainment and city services – all in real time. Goodwin also created the IT Major Projects Dash Board, and managed both the transit app project and the district’s transition to mobile ticketing, which now brings in more than $340,000 monthly.
GPS.MyGovernmentOnline: South Central Planning and Development Commission, Louisiana
The MyGovernmentOnline Software Partnership Program provides seamless cross-boundary services -- for permits and licensing, planning and zoning, and public works, including in-field use -- to hundreds of jurisdictions across 10 states, lowering costs and providing digital conveniences such as mobile apps, text notifications and digital plan review.
Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District No. 2, Texas
As part of the district’s technology initiative, the pump station/emergency operations centers installed separate high-speed internet connections linked by a fiber optic line and all cameras now capture high-definition video and easily monitor flood levels. In addition, all district assets were inventoried using a GIS database that is available to inspectors in the field. These efforts have made operations more efficient, effective and secure, and have enhanced flood protection for multiple hospitals, Sugar Land City Hall, two major transportation arteries and 9,000 homes and businesses in the district.
Michael Parks: Deputy Executive Director for the Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Texas
Parks brought stakeholders and experts together to offer broadband service to the rural areas of Central Texas and provide a better future for the residents of Brazos Valley. He convinced the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Healthcare Connect Fund to declare funds available to rural area hospitals, clinics, school nurses and county jails. He also formed COGnet, a fiber-sharing and management consortium comprised of healthcare facilities, schools and local government. Finally, he worked with Texas A&M University to design a double-ring architecture that provides bandwidth, speed, quality and reliability.
Flood Early Warning System: San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, California
The interactive Flood Early Warning System website provides real-time information via text and email alerts to citizens about where and when flooding is possible or expected in residential and business areas of three cities along a flood-prone creek in the heart of Silicon Valley. Utilizing data from newly installed rainfall and in-stream flow gauges, and tapping into recently updated hydraulic modeling, this public interface provides location-specific notifications to previously flooded neighborhoods two hours in advance of potential overtopping.
Regional Streetlight Program: Western Riverside Council of Governments, California
The Regional Streetlight Program is designed to assist 11 jurisdictions in transferring their streetlights to local ownership and retrofitting them to energy-efficient LED technologies. The program provides cost savings for the nearly 48,000 streetlights, reduces local and statewide energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent, and enables revenue-generating and smart city opportunities.
Dante Ramirez: Principal Accountant for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, California
Ramirez is an innovator in creative and effective uses of technology in the finance arena. He initiated application improvements for several processes in the accounting department, which resulted in saving hundreds of staff hours, improving the accuracy of records and reducing erroneous payments. Ramirez’s initiatives overall have increased the efficiency, integrity and reliability of financial data.
Social Media Initiative: Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, Illinois
The park district has improved communication with the public through Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. Using social media, the district has been able to enhance program awareness and participation and better publicize job openings.
Fiber Optic Resource Sharing Agreement: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA)
This agreement between the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County enabled the sharing of fiber optic cable and other resources, and has expanded to include several state agencies. The tremendous level of inter-governmental collaboration has paved the way for other collaborative efforts, such as joint procurements of IT products and services.
Robert Presnell Jr.: COO, Detroit Water and Sewerage
Presnell developed and implemented strategy to enhance customer experience, resulting in lower customer wait times, faster response times, improved revenue streams, lower cost of service and stronger communication channels. Technology initiatives include investment in a start up for a mobile-friendly, self-service application; payment kiosks across the city with real-time billing data and several payment options; and the ability for customers to reserve a place in line at the service centers through their mobile phone.
GPS.MyGovernmentOnline: South Central Planning & Development Commission
The commission created an asset tracking system that uses GPS, wireless infrastructure and cloud services to manage everything from government fleet vehicles to sandbags. The system has improved efficiencies and cost effectiveness, and currently serves 10 jurisdictions.
Central US Interoperability Hub - "CUSIOP Hub": Kansas Turnpike Authority, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, North Texas Tollway Authority, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, Harris County Toll Road Authority, and Texas Department of Transportation
This multi-state effort lets citizens in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas use one account and a common transponder to pay tolls across 1,300 miles of toll highways. It helps facilitate toll transaction communication among seven tolling authorities in the three states and keeps costs low for these authorities and customers.
Joe Iannello: VP and CIO, Capital Metro
Since 2011, Iannello has spearheaded modernization and service improvement efforts at Austin’s public transit authority, including the launch of one of the nation’s first mobile ticketing systems. Iannello is a board member of the Austin CityUP Consortium – a public/private consortium that facilitates smart city initiatives, and has been named one of Computerworld’s 2016 Premier Technology Leaders.
E-Citizen Mobile Civic Engagement Platform: Jurupa Community Services District
JCSD provides water, sewer, street lights, frontage landscape maintenance, graffiti abatement, and parks and recreation services to over 120,000 residents. To streamline citizen requests and employee response, the district developed a multi-jurisdictional community engagement smartphone app that provides residents with a one-stop method to report non-emergencies.
Pipeline Risk Visualization: San Diego County Water Authority
By taking various data sets from multiple sources and combining them into an open-source database, this initiative increases transparency into pipeline risk for all stakeholders. Staff, executives, the board of directors, rate payers and the surrounding communities can now easily consume data, which assists in making better and more targeted pipeline rehabilitation decisions.
Randell Iwasaki: Executive Director Contra Costa Transportation Authority
Iwasaki led several initiatives -- including implementing intelligent transportation systems, drones and new toll technology -- to increase driver safety, ease traffic congestion and make the environment greener. He makes recommendations on how local, state and federal transportation funds are used in Contra Costa County, and spearheaded a public-private partnership to support GoMentum Station -- a 5,000 acre, secure autonomous vehicle testing site in Concord, Calif.
MARTA Mobile Ticketing System: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
The mobile ticketing system improves the public transit experience for citizens by eliminating wait times at ticket vending machines and providing real-time arrival/departure and safety information. In the near future, the mobile app will also provide real-time car parking availability status on all MARTA garages.
Virtual Desktop Initiative: Atlanta Housing Authority
By replacing 90 percent of its physical desktops with virtual desktops, the housing authority simplified support, reduced costs, improved security, provided remote access to employees and enhanced customer service. All users now have the same desktop experience, which has created a more stable environment. An additional benefit has been a reduction in the district’s carbon footprint.
John M. Daane: Director of Information Technology Emerald Coast Utilities Authority
Daane created a 5-year master plan for IT that tackled system replacement and resulted in increased service levels, cost savings and new staff skillsets. This initiative has reduced physical servers by 70 percent, increased services by 30 percent and increased bandwidth by 500 percent.
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