The town of Marana was named one of the top cities in the country for its use of online services for its citizens for the second year in a row.
The Center for Digital Government releases an annual list recognizing cities that use technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency, and encourage citizen engagement.
“This year’s top digital cities are using technology to ensure citizens can meaningfully interact with city government more easily than in any other time in history,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “From open data portals to enhanced connectivity and mobile platforms, this year’s top-ranked cities are actively promoting transparency, encouraging citizen participation, and making it easier for people to do business with government.”
Marana’s digital efforts are wide-ranging, and include an active web presence, numerous social media outlets and a variety of tools that allow the town to provide residents with accurate, up-to-the-minute information. For example, in the past year, Marana debuted the Financial Transparency Dashboard, a portal that allows users to track how the town is allocating taxpayer dollars. Though this information is already made public through the town budget, by presenting it through this lens, Marana is working to make it more readily understandable to a general audience.
“Our Technology Services and Communications staff work closely to implement creative ideas that connect residents with the information they need,” said Technology Services Director Carl Drescher. “Whether they’re looking to pay a water bill or find out about our upcoming events, we want to make sure their online interaction with us is as straightforward as possible.”
Over the next several months Marana will continue to increase its digital presence. The town recently unveiled the Marana Events app, available in the App Store and on Google Play, which allows residents to learn all about upcoming signature events, such as the Holiday Festival and Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday, Dec. 3. The Tech Services team will soon release another app, aimed at supporting the businesses along the Ina Corridor as the Arizona Department of Transportation constructs the new overpass. This new app will connect consumers with the many shopping opportunities that will remain open during construction.