2007 TAGITM EXCELLENCE AWARDS
The Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers, TAGITM, is an information system's professional organization that provides a forum for generating ideas, sharing problems, and developing solutions. The association's main objective is to enable cities, counties, schools and appraisal districts within Texas to realize the full potential of automation benefits. The association currently has over 200 cities, counties, appraisal districts and school districts as part of their membership program.
During the annual conference in April 2007, the association selected three organizations to receive the coveted TAGITM Excellence Award.
2007 TAGITM Excellence Awards
City of Bryan, GIS Project Implementation
City of Hutto, Transition of Desktop Computers to a Thin Client Environment
Tarrant County: Tarrant Vendor Online Registration System (TVORS).
Scroll down to learn more about these outstanding projects.
City of Bryan: GIS Project Implementation
As of February 2007, the City of Bryan GIS has been in existence for four years. From day one, the goal of GIS in Bryan was to provide an easily accessible, analytical tool useable by everyone. Bryan GIS has adopted a results driven process in implementing GIS focusing on the needs of the end user rather than getting bogged down in the "nuts and bolts” of the process. Because of this, GIS has been embraced throughout the City of Bryan and is now part of daily business operations. In addition, it is considered one of the critical services provided by the city—especially in the event of an emergency. One of the things that has made the City of Bryan GIS successful in such a short period of time is a focus on "community GIS.” When many cities implement GIS, the extent of the data they maintain and distribute to the citizens ends at their city limits boundary. It is short-sighted to believe that citizens and city staff do not need access to or are concerned about information on the other side of an arbitrary boundary—this is especially true when it comes to public safety mutual aid agreements. For this reason, Bryan GIS has forged close ties with other local and regional government entities to maintain and provide spatial information to the public throughout the region through numerous programs. For example, the City of Bryan works closely with the Brazos County Sheriff's Office to track and distribute to the public via the internet the location of registered sex offenders in Brazos County. Also, in conjunction with the Brazos County Health Department, a web-based map service has been developed detailing the location of birds and mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus (WNV). This map service details areas of high risk for exposure to WNV. From a community service standpoint, Bryan GIS provides GIS mapping support to The Big Event—a community-wide service event organized by over 10,000 students at Texas A&M University. Bryan GIS has developed an internet map service that details target neighborhoods as well as job locations. Event organizers use the information to dispatch work teams as well as schedule jobs in target neighborhoods. From an emergency management and public safety standpoint, Bryan GIS provides GIS support for the Brazos County 911 District. GIS plays a vital role in the dispatching of appropriate resources to an incident and while on scene provides additional information regarding factors in the surrounding area that may contribute to incident response. Bryan GIS also provides GIS support for the regional emergency operations center maintained by the City of Bryan, the City of College Station, Brazos County, and Texas A&M University. In addition, Bryan GIS provides mapping support for the regional volunteer fire district—the primary emergency services provider for rural portions of Brazos County. GIS at the city of Bryan represents an effective way to distribute information to not only city staff and citizens, but also to other regional entities. It has quickly evolved into a tremendous resource for the city and is one of the primary technologies provided by the city. By focusing on the community aspects of GIS, Bryan GIS has fostered increased collaboration between government agencies allowing those agencies involved to leverage their resources to achieve maximum benefit for all involved. Bryan GIS has enjoyed wide spread acceptance and continues to focus on ways to better serve the community.
The award was presented before the Bryan City Council meeting to recognize the contribution that the city of Bryan has made in the field of information technology. Dale Harwell, TAGITM President presented the award before the City Council. Pictured (from left to right) are Todd Snellgrove, GIS Coordinator, Gustav Roman, IT Director, Mayor Mike Conlee, and Dale Harwell.
City of Hutto: Transition of Desktop Computers to a Thin Client Environment
The City of Hutto traded in their desktop computers for thin clients and moved all of their applications and data to centrally managed servers. The switch has cut the costs of adding new users over 50% and the time by over 80%. Hutto is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas and benefits greatly from the ability to centrally manage most of their IT issues so the staff can focus on managing future growth. The switch has brought the ability for the police department and select employees to work securely from remote locations saving time and money while maintaining a consistent feel and look to their work environment. By putting the terminal server's between the client and the data we were able to provide an extra layer of security to protect the City data from being compromised. With the use of thin clients and thin operating system we are less susceptible to virus out breaks and can manage updates centrally and more effectively. Thin clients also have no moving and have a life of 10 years compared to the 3 year life of a traditional PC.
TAGITM appeared before the Hutto City Council on May 21, 2007, to recognize the contribution that the city of Hutto has made in the field of information technology. Dale Harwell, TAGITM President, made the presentation to the City Council and presented the award to Tim Howell, Project Director, Edward Broussard, City Manager, and Ken Love, Mayor of Hutto (pictured from left to right).
Tarrant County: Tarrant Vendor Online Registration System (TVORS)
The Tarrant Vendor Online Registration System (TVORS) was developed to allow potential and current county vendors to register and update their registration details online. Vendors have the ability to update their information through an easy to use web interface. Vendor information includes contact information, certifications, i.e. HUB, DBE, MBE, WBE, NIGP commodity codes for products and services and TVORS users. In addition, TVORS allows the Tarrant County Purchasing Office to update vendor information, contact vendors by email for the purpose of soliciting bids or other correspondence, maintain the NIGP commodity code database, maintain the certification database, view a history of vendor changes, maintain buyer database and history file and produce reports based on all databases. TVORS minimizes personnel interaction with the vendor registration and maintenance while still allowing maximum use of the data for purchasing functions. The system is comprised of two ASP.NET applications with a SQL Server database and reporting capabilities by Crystal Reports.
TAGITM appeared before the Tarrant County Commissioners Court on July 31, 2007, to recognize the contribution that Tarrant County has made in the field of information technology. Dale Harwell, TAGITM President and Caren Skipworth, Past President, made the presentation to the Commissioners Court. Pictured in the front from left to right are Nina Carty (Tarrant County IT), Caren Skipworth (Collin County/TAGITM), Kurt Buchert (Tarrant County IT), Jack Beacham (Tarrant County Purchasing), Robert Cox (Tarrant County Purchasing), Danny Roberson (Tarrant County Purchasing), Dale Harwell (City of Hurst/TAGITM), Gwen Peterson (Tarrant County Purchasing), Neil Ewing (Tarrant County Purchasing), Susanna Lea (Tarrant County Purchasing), Donna Sneed (Tarrant County Purchasing), Dianna Lee (Tarrant County Purchasing), Tim Jones (Tarrant County Purchasing), and Mark Shobe (Tarrant County Purchasing).
Pictured in the rear from left to right are the Tarrant County Commissioners Roy Brooks (Tarrant County Commissioner Pct #1), Marti VanRavenswaay (Tarrant County Commissioner Pct #2), B. Glen Whitley (Tarrant County Judge), Gary Fickes (Tarrant County Commissioner Pct #3), and J D Johnson (Tarrant County Commissioner Pct #4).