County supervisor points the way for e-gov

County supervisor points the way for e-gov

Todd Spitzer is bullish on electronic government. When Spitzer, the county's designated board member for information technology, was elected supervisor of the third district five years ago, the first thing he did was upgrade the county's computers.

One of his fellow board members accused Spitzer of misusing public resources by investing in IT. 'Thank goodness, that attitude has changed 180 degrees in the past five years,' Spitzer said. 'Now elected officials see the public benefit of electronic government. We'd be more likely to be accused of being negligent by not investing in information technology.'

Spitzer's staff all have personal digital assistants and text pagers. They coordinate their schedules through Microsoft Outlook.

'Could we use an abacus to run government? Sure. Would it be practical? No,' Spitzer said.

When people harbor negative attitudes about government, it's usually because it's not giving them what they need or giving it but not quickly enough, Spitzer said.

'Electronic government is leading us to the day when citizens can get the documents they are legally entitled to, when everything government does is available from their laptop.'

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