With a population of less than 5,000 and a median household income of around $50,000, Manor, Texas, is an unlikely place to find the cutting edge of government e-participation technologies.
But thanks to a young and enterprising Assistant City Manager (Dustin Haisler, now of Spigit), Manor has attracted significant investment from a variety of firms eager to demonstrate the utility of their technologies. As a result, this small Texas town has a variety of e-participation tools that should be the envy of much larger communities. It also has the savvy to institute the policies and processes needed for Manor’s bureaucracy to effectively utilize the citizen input it receives through those platforms.
So, what makes the Manor e-participation system so effective, in addition to all the fancy tools?
Two colleagues and I tried to answer that question as part of our capstone project at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, in pursuit of our Executive Master of Public Administration degrees. For the project, we developed case studies of four city-run e-participation projects, one in the US (Manor), one in Korea and two in Germany. We then developed a set of criteria and applied it to the case studies. I focused on Manor. You can find our full report here. Or, for a summary of what we learned from Manor, Continue Reading…