District 2 Newsletter
Recently Mayors from different cities in the United States held a national forum to discuss the effects of the pandemic. Mentioned was that the coronavirus is forcing state and local governments across the country to rethink how they could improve their delivery of services and manage employees.
Three areas were highlighted - Working across jurisdictional lines, Adopting new technology and Rethinking the way government leaders mange their work-places and staff. Bringing these ideas closer to home I feel that Galveston could very well experience a positive outcome in all of these areas.
Working Across Jurisdictional lines: Partnerships are becoming increasingly important in this new era. There are some City challenges that are ours and ours alone but there are many others, from a funding and expertise level, that would be more efficiently managed as a Partnership with State, Federal and Public/Private entities. Public Transportation , Middle Income Housing, Beach Nourishment, Drainage Improvements and Post Storm Rebuilding Efforts are just a few of the areas where working together is in everyone’s best interest.
Adopting New Technology: Many Americans now expect to be able to take care of a wide variety of tasks online and local governments can do a better job of offering virtual services. Our Planning Department is getting much better in its management of permitting and inspections on line and this should be just the beginning, in making as many as possible governmental processes available virtually, which saves the public time and prevents the need to travel.
Managing Workplaces and Staff : The virus put cities in a situation where they had to suddenly reckon with how to offer services as employees worked from home or otherwise away from traditional workplaces. Providing a more flexible work environment is another shift brought on by the pandemic and in some form will probably remain with us permanently.
If we are to move forward from this pandemic, public officials have to acknowledge that our best Partnership is the one we have with our residents and that we sure don’t have all the answers. Transparency and inclusiveness are of utmost importance as we set policies that establish the new “Normal”.
Wishing you an October full of as much normalcy
as possible !