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Jorge Salinas

CIO and Assistant City Manager, Albany, Ore.

Jorge Salinas
Just because you work for a small city doesn’t mean you can’t be on the leading edge of public-sector innovation. Albany, Ore., is home to about 52,000 people, and CIO and Assistant City Manager Jorge Salinas said the city considers technology to be a strategic asset, enabling it to do more with less while ensuring “uninterrupted delivery of operational excellence.”

Salinas began working for the city in 2006, after being employed by HP for 15 years. Last year he was given the dual role of CIO and assistant city manager, a coupling that gives him a unique viewpoint. “I am not only a service provider, but I also play the role of service consumer,” Salinas said, “and can translate some of those needs to our IT staff from a different perspective.”

Albany’s ongoing initiatives include an easy-to-use transparency portal, electronic plan review, a crime analysis reports and mapping tool, and hosting library systems for multiple organizations, including a community college. And the city sees opportunities for other hosted solutions that will provide benefits across Albany’s borders. Work is underway on a multijurisdictional project to upgrade the computer-aided dispatch and records management system for fire and law enforcement. The city is managing the project and Linn County will host the system, which will enable information sharing among the jurisdictions. “We have to start breaking down these silos ... and extending those resources,” said Salinas.

Albany’s investment in its IT staff is another indicator of the city’s commitment to technology. There are about 13 people working on IT and GIS, and Salinas is quick to acknowledge their hard work and dedication to delivering services to citizens. “I consider myself fortunate to be part of such a great team,” he said.

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Elaine Pittman is the former managing editor of Emergency Management magazine.