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Sandra Haggard, City Clerk of Commerce, Georgia, Talks About Improving Citizen Access to Agenda and Meeting Information in Most Recent Georgia Municipal Association City to City Interview

February 21, 2014

IQM2 Government News

The Georgia Municipal Association’s latest City to City interview features Sandra Haggard, city clerk of Commerce, Georgia, who talked about her thoughts and evaluation process that led to not only saving her city money and time with IQM2’s agenda and meeting management software but also increased city council meeting information transparency for citizens.

In this interview, Haggard spoke about why Commerce switched to IQM2’s software, how going paperless with agenda and meeting packages saved the city money, and how the online presentation of the information makes it easier for citizens to keep up with their local government.

Saving taxpayer money, the City of Commerce eliminated the costs of paper, delivery, and much of the time spent putting paper-based packages together. “Instead of taking an entire day to create a package,” Haggard said. “We’ve shortened it to a two-hour period. This is especially beneficial with last minute corrections. We recently had a last minute correction for one of our council meeting packages that took me all of 30 seconds to make. In the past, that same correction would have taken 30 minutes.” In addition, she said that with just a click it’s easy to electronically add photos, financials, background information, and other attachments to packages that used to take up a lot of time.

Haggard said that IQM2’s agenda and meeting management software also resulted in more transparency for citizens. The software gives citizens more access to information on the City of Commerce’s website about meeting agendas, council attendance, and voting records. “If anyone has any questions about what a councilmember voted on, they don’t have to file an open records request,” Haggard said. “They just log onto IQM2 through Commerce’s website.”

The Georgia Municipal Association’s City to City interviews feature city administrators and elected officials talking about important city management and operational efficiency challenges. Lou Comer, Director of Local Government Services at the Georgia Muncipal Association, said, “When city managers, city clerks, and elected officials share their thoughts about day-to-day challenges and how they solve specific operational problems, other cities benefit from this knowledge. These interviews increase dialogue between cities and help cities consider new ways of solving their problems.”

City of Commerce, Georgia

The City of Commerce is a community of over 6,000 located near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. The city is set along I-85 just 90 minutes north of Atlanta making it perfectly situated to offer small city charm with easy access to big city amenities. In addition to being in a great location, Commerce is a full service city that provides businesses and residents with electricity, natural gas and water/sewer utilities at competitive rates. While the city footprint is 8.3 square miles, it often provides essential services into the surrounding community.

Contact Sandra Haggard at 706-336-3288 or sandrah@commercega.org.

Georgia Municipal Association

Created in 1933, the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) is the only state organization that represents municipal governments in Georgia. Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its members. GMA's membership currently totals 519 municipal governments, accounting for more than 99% of the state's municipal population.

Contact Steve Durden at 678-686-6259. For more City to City interviews, visit gmanet.com.

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