What have you accomplished in your role that you want people to know about?
We have begun an initiative called Transform Howard and it brings together all of our digital equity, inclusion and transformational projects and programs. We’ve done things like expand access to public Wi-Fi, increased the amount of broadband service that all our schools provided by the county, which is pretty unusual. We provided devices, and now we’re looking at how to get training and digital navigators to our residents. That’s been a primary focus above and beyond what a typical local government IT department does that we’re really proud of here.
As someone who works in technology, is there anything you want other people in government, who are less technical, to be aware of?
My typical quote here is that IT is an enabling function and we’re here to help everyone else meet their business goals. A lot of times it’s just reaching out and articulating what you need to do, and we’ll backfill in the technological solution that you need. The other part of that is our residents. Pretty much everyone has pretty high expectations of the level of digital service that they receive everywhere, including government, and we’re here to enable that.
What’s your prediction for 2022?
It can’t get much worse, right? The more positive way of putting it is that 2022 is going to be a time of opportunity between the level of federal funding that’s coming, and as we come out of the pandemic, it’s really an opportunity for us to take the lessons learned over the past 18 months and apply them in more positive and sustainable directions.