Bonahoom Technology News Conference

Zach Bonahoom for City Clerk logo.

News release from the Zach Bonhoom for City Clerk campaign:

Bonahoom Technology News Conference

LAST NIGHT THE CITY AND COUNTY COUNCIL VOTED TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A 1.4 MILLION DOLLAR TECHNOLOGY SPENDING PROPOSAL. I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR RIGHT NOW THAT I AM AN ARDENT SUPPORTER OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TECHNOLOGY IN OUR GOVERNMENT, BUT AS A TAXPAYER I HAVE ONE CONDITION. OUR LEADERS MUST KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DISCUSSING. AT LAST NIGHT’S JOINT MEETING, IT WAS OBVIOUS TO ME THAT MANY DO NOT POSESS EVEN A CURSORY UNDERSTANDING OF TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL SOON COST US OVER A MILLION DOLLARS.

ALONG WITH THE 9 COMMUNITY LEADERS WHO SPOKE IN FAVOR OF THIS PROPOSAL LAST NIGHT, I AM STRONGLY IN FAVOR OF STREAMLINING PROCESS IN GOVERNMENT. THE BI-PARTISAN COMMITTEE THAT HAS BEEN STUDYING THIS PROPOSAL FOR OVER A YEAR INCLUDES ELECTED OFFICIALS FROM BOTH THE CITY AND THE COUNTY AND LOCAL BUSINESSPEOPLE. HOWEVER IT IS DEVOID OF A CRUCIAL MEMBER – A KNOWLEDGABLE VOICE FOR TECHNOLOGY. IT’S A VOICE THAT TO ME, SEEMS IMPERATIVE IN A DISCUSSION OF TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION.

IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT A LARGE PORTION OF THE 1.4 MILLION DOLLARS WILL GO TOWARDS LICENSING FOR SOFTWARE. FROM EXPERIENCE DEALING WITH TECHNOLOGY TWO QUESTIONS COME TO MIND. ONE, CAN A LOCAL SOFTWARE DEVELOPER DO THIS FOR HALF THE PRICE? I HOPE OUR LEADERS ASKED THAT QUESTION. TWO, IS THIS LICENSING TRULY A ONE TIME COST? BIG SOFTWARE COMPANIES ARE NOTORIOUS FOR ISSUING COSTLY “UPDATES” JUST MONTHS AFTER PURCHASE. WE MUST BE AWARE OF THIS POSSIBILITY.

FOR SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS TECHNOLOGY, THESE ARE COMMON QUESTIONS TO ASK. IT IS PAINFULLY OBVIOUS AFTER LAST NIGHT THAT WE NEED A VOICE FOR TECHNOLOGY MOVING FORWARD.

IN YESTERDAYS JOURNAL GAZETTE, THE MAYOR JUSTIFIED THE COST SAYING THAT HE BELIEVES THE PROPOSAL IS A PRUDENT COMMUNITY EXPENDITURE. WHEN I AM RUNNING LOW ON BREAD IN MY KITCHEN, I GO TO THE GROCERY AND BUY BREAD, IT IS AN ESSENTIAL AND PRUDENT EXPENDITURE. THE DIFFERENCE IS, I DONT SPEND 50 DOLLARS ON A LOAF OF BREAD.
I REVIEW MY OPTIONS AND MAKE SURE I AM NOT OVERSPENDING.
IM CONCERNED WE HAVE NOT DONE THIS. TECHNOLOGY IN OUR GOVERNMENT IS A PRUDENT EXPENDITURE, HOWEVER IT MUST BE IMPLEMENTED RESPONSIBLY WITHOUT OVERSPENDING.

LET ME EXPLAIN IT IN TERMS THAT EVEN A 13 YEAR OLD CAN UNDERSTAND. WHEN I WAS 13 I WANTED TO START A BUSINESS. THE ONLY WAY I COULD DO SO AT THAT AGE WAS IF I SECURED A LOAN. THE LOGICAL BANK TO GO TO AT THAT TIME IN MY LIFE WAS THE BANK OF MOM AND DAD. SO ONE EVENING I HASTILY PITCHED THEM THE IDEA. DAD SAID YOURE CRAZY. YOURE 13! A WEEK OR SO PASSED AND I CAME BACK TO HIM, THIS TIME WITH SOME BALL PARK FIGURES. I SAID DAD, THIS VENTURE IS GOING TO COST ABOUT 5,000 DOLLARS. SAME RESPONSE. ARE YOU CRAZY? IM NOT LOANING A 13 YEAR OLD 5 GRAND!

I WASNT FRUSTRATED I WAS MOTIVATED, I KNEW WHAT I WANTED TO DO. SO I WENT AND COMPILED DETAILS. I THEN PRESENTED HIM WITH EXACT FIGURES, THIS PIECE OF EQUIPMENT COSTS THIS MUCH, IT WILL LAST THIS LONG AND HERE IS HOW I INTEND TO REPAY YOU. AND THE BEST PART? MY FINAL FIGURE WAS HALF THE AMOUNT I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE. HE LOANED ME THE MONEY, I FOLLOWED MY DETAILED PLAN AND PROMPTLY HAD THE LOAN REPAID. EVEN A 13 YEAR OLD UNDERSTOOD THE IMPORTANCE OF SPECIFICS WHEN SEEKING LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT SOME OF OUR LEADERS SEEMINGLY DO NOT.

WE NEED THE TOOLS OF TODAY TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF TODAY –
WE HAVE ONE SHOT TO CHANGE IT AND WE MUST DO IT RIGHT. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES.

ON JUNE 10TH, THE CITY CLERK IGNORED THE RULES IN ORDER TO HAVE THE SPENDING ORDINANCE PLACED ON THE AGENDA. I BELIEVE THAT IF MS. KENNEDY HAD FOLLOWED THE PROPER PROTOCOL AND ABIDED BY THE FRIDAY NOON DEADLINE, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY NO UNEASE WITH THIS ORDINANCE AND I SUGGEST THAT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO DELAY AT ALL.

ADDITIONALLY, THIS ORDINANCE DOES NOT SPECIFY A DEPARTMENT THAT THE CITY’S 700 THOUSAND DOLLAR PORTION WILL BE APPROPRIATED TO. THIS IS A SPECIAL APPROPRIATION, NOT ALREADY BUDGETED FOR BY THE CITY. APPROPRIATIONS OF THIS KIND, ACCORDING TO STATE LAW, MUST HAVE A PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE THEY CAN BE PASSED. BY STATE LAW, 10 DAYS NOTICE OF THE PUBLIC HEARING IS REQUIRED AS COUNCIL PRESIDENT HARPER NOTED LAST NIGHT.

MS KENNEDY HAS BEEN IN GOVERNMENT FOR OVER 30 YEARS, AND AS CLERK HAS HAD TO PUBLISH HUNDREDS OF THESE NOTICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATE LAW. I FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE A SCENARIO WHERE THIS OVERSIGHT COULD OCCUR IN MS KENNEDYS OFFICE, UNLESS IT WAS INTENTIONAL IN ORDER TO KEEP THE TAXPAYERS FROM VOICING THEIR OPINION.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR A CITY CLERK WHO HAS BEEN IN OFFICE FOR 28 YEARS TO SIMPLY FORGET THE RULES. IT ILLUSTRATES THE PAINFULLY COMPLACENT ATTITUDE OF THE CLERKS OFFICE.

TECHNOLOGY IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE OUR LIVES EASIER, AND CUT COSTS, NOT INCREASE THEM. THAT’S WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY REFORM MUST BE DONE IN OUR CITY IN ORDER FOR US TO BE COMPETITIVE. BUT IT MUST BE DONE PROPERLY. WE NEED SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS IT, SOMEONE WHO CAN IMPLEMENT IT AND SOMEONE WHO CAN STAY UP TO DATE WITH IT. THERE IS ONLY ONE CANDIDATE IN THE CITY CLERKS RACE QUALIFIED TO DO THAT.

TIMES ARE RAPIDLY CHANGING. OUR LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO REFUSE TO TAKE AN INTEREST IN TECHNOLOGY, SPECIFICALLY OUR CITY CLERK, EITHER MUST LEARN IT TODAY OR LET THE NEXT GENERATION TAKE OVER.

IF ANY OF OUR LEADERS DESIRE TO DO THEIR DUTY TO TAXPAYERS AND LEARN MORE ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, I AM A PHONE CALL OR AN EMAIL AWAY, EVERY DAY. AND I EXTEND THAT OFFER TO ALL OF OUR LEADERS, REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT, OR OTHERWISE, BECAUSE I WANT TO LIVE IN A CITY THAT SPEAKS THE LANGUAGE OF MY GENERATION AND ALL GENERATIONS. THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS MOVED IN TO THE 21ST CENTURY, IT’S TIME WE DID TOO. THANK YOU.

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