Someone please help me out if I'm missing some hidden value here, but it seems to me that Orange County has found a way to spend money on technology while serving a few residents as little as possible. According to a press release issued today (below) the county is installing monitors in three county buildings with the time, weather, traffic updates, and emergency alerts when they are available. Because, you know, when there is danger afoot the first thing I do is get in the car and drive to a government administrative building.
When I attended the presentation of the County's technology plan last fall, I heard a lot of technobabble about citizen engagement and delivery of services. I can't see how these glorified smart phones fit into the plan.
ORANGE COUNTY UNVEILS NEW PUBLIC INFORMATION TOOL
ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 31, 2012)—The Orange County Public Affairs Office is introducing its Digital Message Monitor system as a new method of providing the public with pertinent details about Orange County news, programs and services.
The Digital Message Monitors are flat screen TVs that function as electronic bulletin boards. The initial deployment of the monitors can be viewed at the Orange County Main Library, Department of Social Services lobby in Hillsborough Commons, and the Gateway Center in both the Tax Administration and Register of Deeds offices.
“This project is a collaborative effort with the Information Technology and Asset Management Departments. The goal is to broaden the County’s public information efforts and make it convenient for residents to stay connected by viewing the announcements that include text, photos and graphics,” said Carla Banks, director of Public Affairs.
The announcements are displayed in a rotation, sharing the screen with a crawl feature, clock, current temperature, and traffic snapshots from I-40 and I-85. During times of an emergency or major weather alert, the details of that event will override the system and be displayed on the entire screen.
Additional Digital Message Monitors will be installed in more facilities throughout the County as part of the 2013-14 fiscal years.