The Ventura County government has received a top national award for use of technology, officials announced this week.
The county tied with Sonoma County for second place among like-sized counties in the competition recognizing exemplary technology practices. Included are initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration, enhance cybersecurity and aid recovery efforts following natural disasters.
County officials tied the finish partly to techniques and tools used to respond to the Hill and Woolsey fires and the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks last year.
Chief Information Officer Brian Ganley said employees used websites, electronic mapping and social media to warn residents of fire risks, potentially saving lives and property. They provided technical assistance to free up phone and radio communications for firefighters struggling to get service in isolated areas.
A link was started at www.venturacountyrecovers.org to allow the public to submit ideas to an invitational task force deliberating over how to prevent future mass shootings.
Ganley said this marks the fifth consecutive year that Ventura County has achieved a top 10 ranking in the competition. Results are based on a survey conducted by the Center for Digital Government in partnership with the National Association of Counties.
Ganley said the competition shows how Ventura County compares with counties nationwide, based on objective standards.
“It really is a measure of how we stack up nationally, and one of the only measures and probably the best,” he said.
The county placed second in the category for counties of half a million to a million in population. Placing first was Snohomish County in Washington state. San Mateo County placed fifth and San Joaquin County in California finished eighth.
Ventura County Executive Officer Mike Powers announced the award Tuesday at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, which oversees the local government that employs 9,000 people. Representatives of the county’s Information Technology Services Department were presented with the award at that time.
Kathleen Wilson covers the Ventura County government, including the county health system, politics and social services. Reach her at email@example.com or 805-437-0271.
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