Atwater Kent Museum Information How Philly Works, a four-part series about how city departments use the Geographical Imaging System (GIS) to provide city services in the 21st century.
A four-part series in partnership with the City Records Department
October 20 and 27, November 10 and 17
Free and open to the public
How does Philadelphia provide complex city services to citizens for every neighborhood every day? How does the Water Department find the right-sized pipe to fix a break? How does the Police Department spot crime patterns? How does the Department of Streets know where to send crews to close ditches or coordinate all the work within the street? How does the Department of Public Health track disease outbreaks and find kids who need immunizations?
I was at the ICA meeting the other day and Dr. Murray, the ICA Chair, was talking a bit about IT (information technology) and the lack of progress among city and county mergers. We all know that IT is one of the best places to start the merger process as other systems rely upon the computers talking to one another.
However, Doug Shields was there to represent city council. Doug made the point that the investment to merge the computer operations was reported to be $23-million. And, the city has $0 in its capital budget. To be fair, there is no capital budget. None. So, upgrades to systems are impossible.
The ICA Chair was clueless. If you just merge it, with a target, a goal, it will just happen. You're spending money already. Just start spending it on this instead -- or some other sillyness in a reply.
I want to spend a lot of money on OPEN SOURCE software. It is free. But, it costs something in terms of effort and money.
That ICA meeting was one of the most frustrating sights I've ever seen. It is so bad, I still can hardly bring myself to blog about it.
I expect the ICA to reject Mayor Murphy's budget. But, it will be done as a pass-the-buck-kinda way without any real hope of real solutions.
The line, "told you so" was mentioned a few times at the meeting. I too was think of that mention. I told you we should not have taken our city in the Act 47 situation. I told you so. We knew that the state was going to muck up the bail out. We don't need a bail out as much as we need to fix our own mess. And, those that made the mess are not qualified to resolve it.