The Town of Marana was recently named one of the top-10 Digital Cities with a population under 75,000 in the United States by the Center for Digital Government. 

The town received the award because of its ability to get critical information to its disadvantaged citizens on important government actions, said Teri Takai, the executive director for CDG. 

The town was one of six Arizona municipalities to receive an award by the Digital Cities Survey, and was the only town chosen of its size. 

Two of the town’s applications that were spotlighted were the Ina Road business and Pet Finder apps, which enable residents to connect with businesses along the closed I-10/Ina corridor, and to help locate their pets when they run away, respectively. 

Town of Marana Technology Services Director Carl Drescher, who oversees the development and implementation of the town’s information services, believes the designation—and the work recognized by the designation—helps Marana to better serve its citizens. 

“It means that the things that we’re doing in regards to the use of technology, and the effort we put in to provide for our citizens and our business is working,” Drescher said. “And it shows that we’re at the forefront of providing those services.”

The two apps have been successful thus far. Close to 1,800 downloads have occurred for the Ina Road app, and close to 200 for the pet finder app, according to Town Communications Manager Vickie Hathaway. 

Marana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ed Stolmaker believes the designation is another step in the town’s quest to better serve its residents. 

He commended all the staff, volunteers and residents involved for their work in making Marana a better place to live and work, and issued hearty congratulations to the town for the designation. 

“Congratulations to the Town of Marana for being named one of the top-10 Digital Cities in the United States. The town has done a great job leveraging their technology to meet the needs of residents of Marana,” Stolmaker said. 

Hathaway said the designation is a rightful result of the hard work put in by town employees to meet the needs of its citizens. 

“The Town of Marana is dedicated to being a community that is attractive to residents and businesses alike, with customer service that is comparable to the private sector,” Hathaway said in a prepared statement. “A professional and strategic digital and technological approach is needed to match the demands, perceptions, and pace of the Town’s target audience.”

Drescher, meanwhile, said the designation is a great honor and milestone in the town’s quest to remain at the forefront of technological innovation in Southern Arizona. 

“Everything that we do is in line with the town’s plan, and so it supports the town and the town’s citizens goals,” he said. “It really puts a stamp of certification that the efforts that we’re doing are in line or at the forefront in order to provide services to our citizens.”

Read this story and more online at tucsonlocalmedia.com.

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