Video: Cary TTF Presentation to Town Council

Cary, NC – Here’s the video of our presentation to Cary Town Council on Thursday December 13, 2012.

Part 1

Part 1 starts with Mayor Weinbrecht’s introduction of the Cary TTF, an overview by Council Member Lori Bush and the Powerpoint presentation by TTF Member Hal Goodtree.

Part 1 on YouTube

Part 2

Part 2 is a Q&A about the TTF Report, mostly a discussion between members of Town Council.

Cary TTF Chair Ian Henshaw summarizes the single over-arching recommendation of the Task Force at the end of the clip.

Town Council then votes, directing staff to come up with a matrix of time. cost and legal issues regarding the recommendations of the Cary TTF.

Part 2 on YouTube

Watch it Here

  • For Part 1, roll down to 37 minutes and 18 seconds (37:18)
  • For Part 2, roll down to 1 hour, 7 minutes and 5 seconds (1:07:05)

Honoring State Senator Richard Stevens

We should mention that between the two parts of the TTF Report to Council, Mayor Weinbrecht reads a proclamation honoring Cary resident and North Carolina State Senator Richard Stevens for his service in public office. Senator Stevens thanks the Mayor and Council and makes a few remarks at the end.

Regional “Datapalooza” for the Triangle?

Jason Hare, the Open Data Program Manager for the City of Raleigh, moments ago posted this comment:

Chris, Nick and I will be working on organizing a regional “Datapalooza” and with Nick’s help get the Whitehouse down here to kick off regional open government for the Triangle. Exciting times.

Wouldn’t it be great if the Town of Cary had some of its own data available for folks to palooze with by the time this gets off the ground?

(Please forgive my looseness with grammar — I know it should be “with which to palooze.”)

Auqastar presentation to ISAB: 12/3/2012

Dec 03_12 ISAB Webportal presentation

Here are some comments from members attending:

Specific Advice

  • Get a consult from an actual web designer.
  • Give it its own name:
  • Get some help on making the info graphics much more      compelling.
  • The site design is outdated and not engaging.
  • The look and feel does not invite the user and it      provides too many choices for navigation.  There are at least 4      “nav bars” on the web site.  Navigation should be      unambiguous and concisely and prominently located.
  • The modern web uses immersive imagery and colors that render true on the screen.
  • The misuse of color and arbitrary font usage is      disturbing and can be confusing to the user.  If the color of the      graphs means nothing, then the graphs should not be colored.  It’s      really that simple.  Don’t try to convey information where none is      present.  A better idea would be to use color to indicate something.
  • The average data should not be calculated in realtime      from the 6 million daily readings. Instead the town should ask for      *optional* demographic data from each resident and then build weekly (or      so) averages
  • While the current Aquastar site will be hugely useful      to some people, it needs to incorporate more “call to action”      items.

Role of the ISAB

  • But instead of talking about the details of a website, you should be talking about the concept for a good website.
  • I am concerned that the Town is using the ISAM (or any board) for basic design decisions.  User Interface design is a well-defined area of research and practice and it should be left to professionals skilled in the art.

Other Sites to Consider


Great video explaining the power of citizen engagement

Even though our time with the Town of Cary Technology Task Force (TTF) is almost over, I can’t stop researching. I’ve had the same experience with car and house shopping. You can’t turn off those compulsive Google searches even after you’ve found what you’re looking for.

Last week, I found this video on citizen engagement from PBS News Hour. It features a couple of tools we’ve discussed in our TTF meetings – SeeClickFix and MindMixer.

Some of my favorite moments in the video:

The quote from the mayor of Omaha on the town’s experience with their Engage Omaha citizen engagement effort:

If somebody has an idea at 3 a.m., they can go online and tell us about it.

And the story about how the hot dog vendor’s music annoyed one lady, but was actually beloved by the majority of the local folks.

Check it out and let us know what you think.