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  • Success Story
  • Thousand Oaks, CA

Thousand Oaks Conquers Inefficiency By Modernizing Processes


The sunny city of Thousand Oaks, California, located in Ventura County, is home to the beautiful, year-round weather symptomatic of Southern California. It’s also home to 126,683 citizens, all of whom enjoy the benefits of a transparent local government thanks to software employed by the City of Thousand Oaks to better open the legislative process to the public.

“We used to print 43 agenda packets every week. Now we print three.”
Janis Daly, Senior Recording Secretary
Must have Granicus Solutions

Government organizations at all levels are increasingly more concerned with environmental issues and resource conservation.

The City of Thousand Oaks is no exception to this. “The community is really on board with being environmentally friendly,” says Janis Daly, Senior Recording Secretary. With several goals in mind—paper savings, technological advancement, ease-of-use for citizens, and efficiency—the City decided to make a change in the way they ran their meetings. “[Wanting to save] resources was really the impetus of everything,” Daly says.



In 2006, staff decided to make the process easier on themselves and chose to implement Webcasting from Granicus. “It allowed us to move from our behemoth set recorder and all that went with that,” Daly says. Now the City easily live broadcasts its meetings to thousands of citizens via the Internet. “Now we’ve been able to move from set recordings of the audio to streaming the meetings live, or people can watch on-demand,” Daly says.

Not only is the City able to reach more citizens in this way, but it is able to more easily work with and meet the needs of the press as well.

We’ve cut down on calls from the press and public about the specifics of the meetings…and the occasional reporter who wanted tapes,” Daly says.

“Now we don’t have to make copies, so it kind of streamlines everything in that respect.”

Meeting Efficiency

With an average of 43 agendas printed twice a month, this was quite an undertaking.

“It’s not uncommon for agenda packets to be 300 pages,” Daly says. This added up to an average of nearly 13,000 pieces of paper per meeting. Even though the City Council only meets twice per month, printing agenda packets was still costing the City nearly 300,000 sheets of paper per year.

However, now that the City is using iLegislate to distribute agendas digitally, only three agenda packets are printed per meeting, saving money and trees alike.

In addition to the savings the City enjoys, elected officials now have the benefit of being able to review their agenda packets from anywhere. Upon the implementation of iLegislate, the City also invested in iPads for City Council members. “They can take their iPad along with them to view the agendas from anywhere,” Daly says. In addition, the City likes the quality of the agendas, as well as the benefit of having them delivered electronically.

“Now that we’re using the iLegislate platform, we’re able to accomplish getting everything on the website and disseminate to the proper council and staff members; in many respects, it’s gotten more efficient,” Daly says.

The benefits of iLegislate, when combined with the power of Votecast, have also increased transparency in meetings. “When council members vote, Votecast tells [citizens] who’s voting which way, and it involves them more,” says Daly. This can help voters make informed decisions when it comes to Election Day; it also gets them more involved and excited about government at the local level.

“I think it does help with community involvement,” Daly says, “to be able to provide them with as much information and to be as transparent as possible.”