Goshen Republican mayoral hopeful Mary Cripe plans to engage residents online while saving the city money
GOSHEN, IND. - With more than 75 percent of Americans now online, and 82 percent of them interacting with government online, local governments have the opportunity to engage residents on Facebook, Twitter and other digital tools. In fact, The National League of Cities Institute reports that local governments that do not participate in digital engagement risk remaining unaware of online mobilization, until it manifests at public meetings and other face-to-face events.
Republican mayoral hopeful, Mary Cripe, intends to change that in Goshen.
“Residents should have every opportunity to have their voices heard,” Cripe said. “Local government needs to use digital tools as part of their resident engagement and service plan.”
Adopting digital sustainability practices would mean not only easier access for residents to their elected officials, but also cost-savings and efficiencies in transferring old traditional methods currently being used onto a digital, multi-lingual platform.
“Cost-savings is important to Goshen at a time when we need to continue to replenish our rainy day funds to meet challenging times ahead,” said Cripe. “This is just one more tool I will use to create a more efficient and effective government for the people of Goshen.”
For example, currently the process to receive a building permit in the city could take hours of work and extreme frustration. Many have said that Goshen is not “developer friendly.”
“If the economic downturn taught us anything it is that we need to have an ample rainy day fund - a savings for when times get tough. One way to build that reserve is to make every effort for our tax base to increase,” Cripe said. “That means streamlining building development procedures, moving permits and payments online, and assigning a certified navigator to walk developers through the building process. If elected, I will make Goshen developer-friendly.”
As local governments face impacts from climate change, public health concerns and blighted properties caused from unenforced neighborhood ordinances, it is becoming increasingly important to engage with the public on important sustainability topics.
“If elected mayor, my office will use best practices to implement a successful digital engagement plan that will inform and empower; and, move all applicable services online - right down to utility payments, park program registration forms, reporting ordinance violations and applying for a building permit. It’s time for Goshen to move into the 21st century.”