The session showed that while clerks have one of the oldest known roles in government, their vision for the future has led to extraordinary breakthroughs in how their agencies work and grow. Here’s some of their advice for other municipalities.
The Goal of Digitization: Better Quality of Life
One of the Summit’s most empowering statements came from Dominque Green, City Clerk of Cleveland, MS when she said, “We view digital transformation as a quality of life consideration for our citizens; we want to meet or exceed their expectations.”
The panel discussed how digitization allowed everyone to serve better, whether it’s shortening the touch points needed to get an answer to a question or coming up with innovative new ways to perform age-old traditions.
Digitization Opens the Door to Further Innovation
Laura Hughes, County Clerk of Kaufman County, TX launched her office’s first remote marriage license system during the COVID pandemic. Her office was deemed an essential service and therefore given extra support to build a video marriage program. The program makes use of a combination of online forms and documents, phone calls, Zoom meetings, an eSignature component, and an online payment collection compoent. The process concludes with a marriage license being mailed to the happy couple. This initiative now takes less time than original process, and even became an award-winning initiative for Kaufman County.
Focus on the Future, Not Today’s Roadblocks
Looking beyond the obstacles to digitization is essential. Dominque captured the big picture by encouraging everyone to “ask yourself, ‘What will get us to the city we need in 20 to 30 years?’ If you can get your governing body on board to thrive and meet the expectations of our citizens for a more future-forward vision, that will help you get the level of efficient service you need.”
And finally: Allow yourself to get excited. “Let’s make sure what we’re doing is vital and useful and will be around for years to come,” Laura finished.