Category Archives: City Clerk Cafe

Will Electronic Voting Improve or Hamper an Already Fragile Process?

Tablets, phones, and mobile devices are everywhere. We use them to read, take notes, and even place orders at restaurants. Their portability and ease-of-use have helped them become a vital part of everyday processes in the private sector. And while the public sector has traditionally been slower to implement new technologies, the convenience of mobile devices has spurred government agencies into readily adopting them. The corresponding increase in efficiency and transparency has even led to public agencies incorporating mobile technology into council, board, and committee meetings; making it easier to record minutes, disperse agendas, and share information. But could the same technology be used for voting? Read more >

Posted in City Clerk Cafe, Latest News, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Will Electronic Voting Improve or Hamper an Already Fragile Process?

Current Tax Season Scams

Tax season is now in full swing so it’s important to make sure you get a refund and not ripped off. Scammers are incredibly sneaky when it comes to exploiting people’s fears and tax-induced anxiety makes the IRS a perfect cover for shenanigans. Accordingly, we thought it beneficial to address a few common techniques (recently compiled by Infosec and reported on in the Washington Post) criminals currently employ to help ensure you know what to look out for this tax season.

Phishing

This approach is all bait—where scammers send seemingly legitimate emails that lure victims into downloading malicious software via link in order to gain access to their devices, and subsequently, their information. Read more >

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3 Ways Cities are Innovating with Technology

Cities across the United States have started to work smarter—not harder—when it comes to improving their technological infrastructure. From free public wi-fi in big cities, to high speed internet in rural areas, and a general push toward financial data transparency, many cities are finding ways to use technology to innovate within their communities.

Free Public Wi-Fi

Coastal hubs like New York City and San Francisco paved the way for free public wi-fi. However, some landlocked cities have caught up and become hubs in their own right. Kansas City, for example, began by installing wi-fi hotspots across 54 square blocks of downtown in 2015. Read more >

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Be Your Own Hero: How to navigate the journey through cyber security

Imagine you’re at your desk receipting utility payments, answering phones and helping customers. It’s Friday and you’re cruising toward the weekend. With your day already half over, you leave for lunch with a smile. But when you return something is amiss.

You log back into your workstation and the screen flickers with static. A sinister winky-face emoji slowly emerges. Beneath it a “Donate Now” button flashes insistently.

You click around. Try to restart. But your entire system is locked. All you can do is click the Donate button. When you do, horns erupt from the emoji’s forehead and an evil laugh bursts from your speakers. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Latest News, Small Cities, Technology | Comments Off on Be Your Own Hero: How to navigate the journey through cyber security

The Many Hats City Clerks Wear

To be a city clerk is to know: “Multitasking is not an option, it is a requirement.”

The days of a city clerk are filled wearing many hats and accomplishing many things—from interfacing with constituents,
to taking down meeting minutes, to crunching budget numbers. So, in honor of all the roles a city clerk takes on, we thought
we’d list some of the many titles that should come after the
“City Clerk” title.

City Clerk, Also Known As…

Community-Agency Liaison:

A city clerk is the connector between the public and the government agency, making sure constituent voices are heard and governmental decisions are made public. Read more >

Posted in City Clerk Cafe, Clerks in the News, Customer Spotlight, Office Efficiency | Comments Off on The Many Hats City Clerks Wear

Picking Good Passwords You’ll Actually Remember

Last weekend, I had a lot of online shopping to do!

I started clicking away, filling up my shopping cart, hit checkout and…declined?

“What?” I thought to myself. I just got paid! So, in complete meltdown mode I logged into my bank account and at the top of the transaction list I spotted several pending charges, including one for $1,400 to walmart.com. My card number had been stolen and my bank account was compromised.

I always thought I did everything possible to prevent being subject of an account hack or identity theft situation. I had a six-letter password, shredded all my bills and never gave up personal information on the phone. Read more >

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Stand Up for Your Heart

Things we know for certain: One, February is National Heart Month; and two, most of our clients do a lot of sitting at their desks; so it makes sense to take a break from our list of blog stories about technology, accounting, and government management and instead focus on the two things that will affect all our clients at some point—their hearts and health.

The baby boomer generation is the first generation of workers who will likely spend most of their day sitting. As we moved from an industrial era to a technological one, many laborious jobs were replaced by desk jobs, putting many workers in front of a typewriter, or computer for most of their working career. Read more >

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Signs of a High-Efficiency Worker

If doing the right things is considered to be effectiveness, then doing things right is essentially being efficient. To be efficient at your job is different than being effective at your job. They do go hand in hand—efficiency can lead to effectiveness—but effectiveness alone cannot create efficiency.

Retaining a sustainable job means being able to perform both efficiently and effectively; an employee who is just one or neither is more expendable than an employee who is both. Because
high-efficiency workers are able to effectively complete tasks in the most efficient way possible, upping your efficiency factor to increase your overall effectiveness is a great place to put focus and become an invaluable team member. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Signs of a High-Efficiency Worker

How the Cloud is Changing Telecommuting for the Better

Technology has changed everything, and the ability to telecommute is one of those.
In fact, telecommuting trend data collected by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com shows:

  • 50% of the US workforce has a job that is at least partially compatible with telework or telecommuting
  • 20-25% of the workforce telecommutes at some frequency (2.8% work at least part-time from home)
  • 80-90% of the workforce would like to telecommute at least part-time
  • Fortune 1000 company employees are not at their desk 50-60% of the time
  • The amount of regular, non-self-employed work-at-home employees has increased 140% since 2005

The growing trend for telecommuters and telework is not likely to decline anytime soon. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Staff, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Technology | Comments Off on How the Cloud is Changing Telecommuting for the Better

New Year Dictionary of Governmental Budget and Accounting Terms

Has your EOY caused your prior-year encumbrances and expenditures to deplete your reserves, or were you in the black because those expenditures were WRTFY?

If all this budget and accounting talk has your head spinning, we’re going to lighten it up with some Happy New Year Vocabulary, courtesy of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations.

So if you don’t know your program budget from your appropriations, give them a quick once-over with a New Year Review of Governmental Budget and Accounting Terms.

NEW YEAR DICTIONARY OF ACCOUNTING & BUDGET TERMS

H – Hourly (or Non-Exempt)
An employee who fills a temporary or short-term position. Read more >

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