Clerk Spotlight: Lewisville, TX
Behind every successful government is a clerk keeping it all together through technology and cross-department collaboration.
Lewisville, TX, is a suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and one of the fastest growing cities in the country, with an estimated population of 127,000 residents. Julie Worster, our featured clerk, describes herself as outdoorsy and loves the North Texas area for its growing greenspace. She and her husband hike and camp as often as possible.
Julie has more than 27 years of municipal government experience, having previously served the city of Highland Village, TX, where she worked in numerous capacities. She started as deputy secretary for the city of Lewisville, before being appointed as city secretary in November 2004. Julie is the fourth and longest-serving city secretary in Lewisville.
Julie discussed the many ways Lewisville has had to pivot since the start of the pandemic, most notably: budget cuts. After the deputy secretary role was eliminated, many more responsibilities fell in her lap. “I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through losing that clerk-level position without Granicus, especially the agenda management software,” Julie said. “It’s an awesome system.” The city of Lewisville built in multiple, department-specific approval sequences that dramatically expedite the approval process. “Not every city does sequences,” Julie said matter-of-factly, “but we like them because they force people to get their items in on-time and correct.”
The one thing the city of Lewisville didn’t have was a way for residents to submit comments virtually. So, Julie and her team were excited to hear about eComment, Granicus’ digital public comment tool. They worked with Granicus’ implementation team to have the software up and running in less than a week. One of Julie’s personal favorite features is VoteCast, a city council voting system. “It’s so intuitive, I didn’t even have to train my council on how to use it,” Julie said. “It’s super, super simple.”
Julie is also a huge fan of Granicus’ boards and commissions software package. The software takes a labor-intensive process and makes it easier for her as an administrator, and for staff as well. “You know how you have to go in and create your roster? The boards and commissions software automatically creates it for you. We also added term limits, so it notifies you when boards and commissions members’ terms are expiring. Departments no longer have to put their rosters up on their websites because the software can do that for you automatically,” Julie said. “I can sit at my desk and make a change and it’s immediately updated on the website. It has cut out a lot of steps in the boards and commissions process. It’s just much easier. We will never stop using it. It’s just too easy for everyone.”
“We were lucky to have already been using Granicus solutions when the pandemic hit. So, our transition from in-person to virtual meetings was very smooth.”
— Julie Worster, City Secretary, City of Lewisville, TX