Digital transformation is on the “to-do” list of many government agencies across the county. In Maplewood, New Jersey it wasn’t just a pipe dream; it was a priority. The township sought to increase the use of technology and make government more efficient for all residents. With a population of nearly 26,000, township leaders felt it was important to ensure all residents have equitable access to government services and information.
To bring a more equitable experience to residents, Maplewood Township Administrator Jerry Giaimis set his sights on revitalizing the labor-intensive process for creating and distributing meeting agendas, as well as overhauling its website. The township recognized the need to move away from the manual process of assembling agendas toward a more efficient and sophisticated process which better suited staff and the community. Additionally, the existing website was not intuitive and not easily searchable. Maplewood found digital solutions to these issues with Granicus products govAccess, govDelivery, and govMeetings.
reduction in the time it takes to prepare a monthly agenda
improved for employees and more time to accomplish other tasks
enhanced in agendas and on website
increased in presenting and sharing information
Introducing More Efficient Processes and Technology to a Progressive Community
Maplewood is an active community, holding regular meetings with township leadership, committees, and board members. With so many meetings, compiling agendas is a critical task and it had been a manual process for clerks. Agendas were being assembled using scissors and glue sticks, and when a change was needed, an employee would have to physically go into the office to do it. Also, completed agendas were scanned into a pdf then shared as a jpg. Maplewood needed a more efficient way to assemble its many agendas and share them with residents.
Additionally, with such a robust schedule of programs, events, and meetings, the township wanted a more intuitive, user-friendly website. The existing website was cumbersome and Maplewood leadership determined that their new site should provide a more visually appealing experience, make information easier to find and searchable, and allow employees to easily upload documents.
Innovative Digital Solutions Improve Access to Information
Introducing digital solutions govAccess, govDelivery, and govMeetings helped transform how the Maplewood Clerk developed meeting agendas and streamlined the township’s website. Implementing these solutions meant employees could easily make edits online to an agenda at anytime from anywhere and no longer had to physically be in the office to make changes. Additionally, the revised version could be reposted and shared with the community immediately.
The new and improved website created a seamless digital experience for residents and encourages connection and engagement. Driven by the hard work and dedication of Deputy Township Administrator, Bailey Barnett, the revised website supports the emphasis on accountability and transparency in the Maplewood community by making it easy for users to search for and find the information they seek. The structure of the site allows for agendas to be posted in several areas and the calendar view allows for events to be displayed at a glance.
The future of Maplewood is always going to be just looking for the next big thing in the advancement in tech. The people in this town are willing to change and be progressive not just in their politics but in their operational thinking.
Jerry Giaimis, Maplewood Township Administrator
Streamlined Processes, Stepped Up Website Enhance Interactions with Residents
Government employees often must stop what they are doing to help residents, whether in-person or on the phone, and time management can become a challenge. By modernizing the agenda creation process, Maplewood’s Clerk reduced the time it takes to prepare a monthly agenda by 75%. This time savings creates more efficiency and frees up more time to tackle other tasks and address resident concerns. Anecdotally, this helps improve customer service and engagement with the community.
Maplewood’s enhanced website is meeting the community’s demands for more accountability and transparency and the township’s goal of providing more equitable access to information. Agendas and information on programs and events are presented clearly and effectively for all residents to access. The improved searchability and presentation of information saves Maplewood residents time; they no longer need to scan the site page by page to find what they seek.
I’m always on the hunt for a program that will make us better; I’ve tried them all, I’ve demoed them all. If Granicus has it to offer, I’m going there first; there’s no need to look elsewhere.