AT&T and Government Technology, Techwire’s sister publication, have launched a regional awards program for special districts, with three categories to recognize IT innovation and leadership. An evaluation committee reviewed nominations in the three categories, and California districts placed well in the West region. Nominations were submitted by the public and private sectors, and three categories were available:

  • Technology Innovation — Citizens: Recognizing districts that have used technology to improve service to residents — for example, increased customer satisfaction, enhanced user experience and accelerated access to services.
  • Technology Innovation — Operations: Recognizing districts that used technology to improve internal operations — for example, efficiency and productivity improvements, cost reduction, enhanced security, improved processes and advanced sustainability.
  • Technology Innovation — Leadership: Recognizing district leaders who have led technology innovation initiatives that go above and beyond to positively impact the community and/or operations. The nomination should highlight vision, leadership and support of information technology.

Following are the recognized California entities and the categories for which they were awarded:

CITIZENS

MyWater MNWD: Moulton Niguel Water District

The district deployed a secure, cloud-based portal where customers can pay bills, view their water usage, learn about water conservation programs such as turf replacement and rebates, sign up for paperless bills and watch conservation videos — all from their mobile phones.

Mobile App: South Coast Air Quality Management District

In addition to viewing new air quality forecasts, a new one-stop mobile app lets residents access an interactive map, temperature and weather, alert notifications, and the location of hundreds of alternative fuel stations. Previously available only for IoS, the application now has an Android version as well.

OPERATIONS

Mobile App and Supporting Infrastructure: Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District

Over the past five years, the district made the transition from a paper-based field data collection system to an in-field mobile application using tablets. The database provides the foundation to track disease surveillance, target outreach campaigns and deliver useful data that maximizes connectivity for field staff.

Mobile Special Technology and Aerial Response (MSTAR) Concept Vehicle: Menlo Park Fire Protection District

The district created this unique mobile response platform to support public safety connected devices, such as drones. MSTAR Concept Vehicle provides acres of on-scene Wi-Fi, drone quick launch, satellite video streaming and computing support — which is significant progress in creating a connected emergency response capability.

myEBS Search: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

This Web application provides employees with a personalized, intelligent dashboard, alerts and search capabilities for their financial information. Used on both desktop and mobile devices, myEBS Search has improved productivity and efficiency, saved costs and enhanced security for internal operations.

Real-Time Distribution System Monitoring Using Mobile Technology: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Mobile technology now enables real-time water quality monitoring in the water distribution network. The district also automated processes for collecting samples and entering data. Data is now entered directly into mobile devices — resulting in improved data integrity and reliability, and more efficient business processes.

LEADERSHIP

Stefan Jaskulak: Chief Financial Officer/Director of Administrative Services, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Jaskulak drove the formation of an integrated administrative services business line with training, conferences and co-location. He also provided a roadmap for the next three years of organizationwide process and technology improvements. Under his leadership, the district has a foundation to sustain its recent organizational growth and diverse programs, as well as to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving environment.

Ron Moskowitz: Chief Information Officer, South Coast Air Quality Management District

Within one year, Moskowitz implemented policy and governance changes that have greatly aligned IT closely with the goals of the district. He has spearheaded several successful projects, including the district’s mobile app, the “Replace Your Ride” program and online filing for permit applications. His project management skills and experience contributed to the increased efficiency and quality of every aspect of these projects.

Lauren Skiver: CEO/General Manager, SunLine Transit Agency

For the past five years, Skiver has helped the agency move to a performance-driven environment and has delivered a robust capital program. Under her leadership, the alternative fuels program and the zero-emissions fleet continue to grow. She also initiated the “Rethink Transit” initiative — which includes an app-based ride-share service, micro-transit and “quick bus” routes. Skiver is committed to providing clean renewable fuels and is a founding member of the Zero Emission Bus Alliance (ZEBRA), where she currently serves as chair.