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Clerk Spotlight: Orange County, FL

Behind every successful government is a clerk keeping it all together through technology and cross-department collaboration. 

Orange County, Florida, is the state’s fifth-most populous county, largely because Orlando—an incredibly popular tourist destination—is the county seat. In 2019 alone, Orlando hosted 76 million visitors. The annual number of visitors fell 53% in 2020 due to COVID but is expected to rise as the tourism economy stabilizes.

Katie Smith, our featured clerk, has been involved in local government in Orange County for nearly 18 years. She currently serves as the deputy clerk of the board under Orange County comptroller Phil Diamond. Katie has years of experience with statutory requirements serving local government and partnering with service vendors for system operations. Katie is a self-professed “pot-stirrer” who’s not afraid to challenge the status quo. Her ability to dismiss the “we’ve always done it that way” rationale was a contributing factor to her promotion to deputy clerk.

Soon after accepting the role, Katie decided to automate office operations with Granicus’ govMeetings solutions. At the start of the pandemic—after the governor suspended in-person meetings—the county learned to rely more heavily on technology to meet public access requirements, among other things. Like many of us, Katie cited the start of the pandemic as a trying time when she and her staff had to shift gears and learn to work remotely and move away from paper-based processes. Katie’s office is responsible for recording meeting minutes for all the board of county commissioner meetings and creating the clerk’s agenda and records reports, which her team has had to accomplish remotely since COVID. Thanks to govMeetings Legistar, this was an easy task. In addition to closed captioning, one of her team’s favorite features within govMeetings is the ability to start and stop meetings remotely using the media manager function.

“Everything we’ve done since the start of the pandemic has really caught us up to where we really needed to be operationally. Now we’re completely transparent and automated and that’s largely because of Granicus solutions.”

— Katie Smith, Deputy Clerk, Orange County, Florida

Click here to watch the full clerk spotlight.

Municipality: Orange County, FL
Population: 1,380,645
Solutions: govMeetings
Legislative Hub: Board of County Commissioners (BCC) Meeting Agendas
Speaker: Katie Smith, Deputy Clerk, Orange County, FL