Public Information Officer
Boone County, MO
COLUMBIA, July 13, 2011 — Boone County has placed in the top 10 among counties with a population from 150,000 to 249,999 in the 2011 Digital Counties Survey. The Digital Counties Survey recognizes leading examples of counties using information and communications technology. The Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities program, in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), identifies best electronic practices among counties nationwide, regardless of size.
“As far as supplying data to citizens, I think we go above and beyond most counties, especially supplying live data via our website,” said Aron Gish, director of the Department of Information Technology with Boone County. “It’s the real data. Our data feeds are not from a data warehouse, they are not a copy from overnight -- it’s live data. When you make it to our website and use our data, you’re using the same data that the Collector is working with in their office. If you want to check that your taxes are paid, you can walk away from the window, look it up via our website applications and you’re going to see your taxes are marked paid.”
“The Digital Counties Survey identifies the very best examples of how counties are aligning technology to support strategic priorities and create crucial operational and administrative efficiencies,” said NACo Executive Director Larry E. Naake. “Especially important during these tough economic times, counties across the country are using innovative technologies to reduce county operations costs and enhance service delivery.”
According to James Barnes, Web developer with Boone County, the County regularly places in the top 10 of the survey, even though the County’s growth over the last decade has pushed it into a different category of the competition. “This is the second year that we’re in a new category that’s driven by population,” Barnes said. The County moved up to the 150,000 to 249,999 population category in 2010.
“It’s been beneficial,” Gish said. “Internally, it kind of drives us, gives us a little bit of direction on what’s coming, the way information sharing is changing.”
In addition to the Digital Counties Survey, Gish said that the Center provides its members with access to online forums, educational opportunities and information exchange. One of the best benefits, according to Gish, is the ability it gives the County to compare its developments in IT with its peers. “One of the best things about it is that we get to see what other counties are doing. We get to see what other counties and cities are offering their citizens as far as access to public information.”
Boone County tied for ninth place with St. Tammany Parish, La., in this year’s survey. A complete list of this year’s winners and more information about the Center for Digital Government is available on the Digital Communities website at http://www.digitalcommunities.com/survey/counties/.