This morning, along with a couple dozen other people, I spoke during the public comment section of the Cook County Board Finance Committee. The comments are limited to three minutes per person, and I covered my support for the technology portion of the Cook County Finance & Administration budget. I spoke in my capacity as co-chair of President Preckwinkle’s New Media Council, but the cool thing is that anybody can sign up to speak at these sessions. Here’s the full text:
Good morning Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. My name is Daniel X. O’Neil, and I am the Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic organization devoted to improved lives in Chicago through technology. Our founding partners are the City of Chicago, the MacArthur Foundation, and The Chicago Community Trust.
We also work very closely with the State of Illinois and the great County of Cook in order to do our work. I’ve interacted with a number of the members of this body in the course of my service at Smart Chicago and in my efforts in the open data movement. I very much appreciate the time I’ve spent with some of you, and I’d like to work with each of you on these matters.
I also serve, along with my friend and colleague Blagica Bottigliero, as co-chair of President Preckwinkle’s New Media Council, where we are charged helping the County develop a digital strategy to better engage, serve, and connect with the public.
In that capacity, I’ve come to greatly value the leadership of Cook County Chief Information Officer Lydia Murray. She is a clear thinker with a practical approach to solving the long-festering technology issues facing County government.
I appreciate the focus on reducing waste to save taxpayers’ money, the spirit of collaboration with the City of Chicago, the sound investments in improving Internet connectivity, and the attention paid in this budget to the baseline applications that make core County functions run.
I’m excited about the public website redesign project. The planned features of responsive design and a focus on the mobile experience can allow the County to make a giant leap in communication with the public.
The investments in core systems like the Criminal Justice Data Sharing System, revenue collection, and case management will lead to better service for the public.
I am especially looking forward to the planned improvements in the transparency, efficiency and accessibility of the County’s property tax system. That is sorely needed and long delayed.
I strongly urge you to support the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget of the Cook County Bureau of Technology. Thank you for your time.