Wanted: People to make City Hall cool
The Kansas City Star
For hours last month, the official website for the city of Kansas City was down. As in kaput and useless.
Thousands of people who wanted to check information, contact city officials, make online appointments or pay bills were out of luck. Worse, this was the second lengthy, embarrassing outage in the last few months.
City officials have vowed to make the website more dependable. Good thing, too, because Kansas City — like many communities across the nation — is depending more on its online presence to serve residents.
Mayor Sly James recently announced a solid effort that aims to improve how city government serves citizens. With the help of creative and innovative people, he noted, the city needs to “parallel the vision of our entrepreneurial community and be an engine for growth and support, not a barrier to development.”
James wants young professionals to serve on a Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet, to take risks and develop solid ideas on how to improve city services as well as how people can benefit from them. The city’s “customers” need to be able to get information to and from City Hall much more easily than they can now.
The mayor, who has embraced Twitter as another way to communicate with residents, is moving in the right direction with this latest initiative.
Applications for James’ new working group are available online — as long as the mayor’s website is working, of course — at kcmayor.org/challenge-cabinet.