(BLOOMINGTON) – The Director of Innovation for the City of Bloomington will present the 2019 Innovation Report to the Common Council tonight during the regular meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers (401 North Morton Street).
The implementation of a recommendation of the Task Force on Government Innovation convened by Mayor John Hamilton in early 2016, the innovation office works to improve the City’s ability to respond to residents and deliver services, by both improving internal processes and availing itself of technology.
In her report to the Council, Innovation Director Devta Kidd will review the office’s accomplishments and expenditures since 2017, describe current activities and outline goals. Kidd was appointed to the innovation directorship in late 2018, succeeding original officeholder Tom Miller. Among the office’s noteworthy improvements has been the transformation of a paper-based inspection process to a digital one for both the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department (HAND) and the Bloomington Fire Department (BFD). Outfitted with iPads, inspection staff are now able to connect to the county’s GIS system and other relevant databases while in the field conducting inspections, allowing them to compare newly collected data against records in real time.
Contracting with Transmap to amplify the City’s ability to assess the condition of city streets, sidewalks and street signs was another critical advance effected through the innovation office. Over the course of three months, the service provided overall condition index (OCI) data that would previously have taken three years to acquire. Collected without subjective bias, the information allows Public Works to prioritize infrastructure improvement projects.
Along with software updates to the department goal-setting and budget-making systems and development of the uReport resident incident reporting system, among other technological advances, Kidd will emphasize organizational improvements currently underway to strengthen the way employees meetings are conducted, among other practices. Kidd will also share efforts to highlight, support, and promote the innovative practices and tools already in use across City departments. Finally, the innovation report will describe efforts to evaluate the City’s readiness for future needs and to identify key partners as it adapts to changes ahead.
“In Bloomington, our innovative streak has positioned us well over the years — from furniture to televisions to the software being engineered at the Mill — and our City government should be just as forward-thinking,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Making a place for innovation at the City ensures that we are delivering services in the smartest way we can.”