Seventeen years after establishing its presence on the Internet, Montgomery County has pushed to the forefront of digital governance in the 21st century with the launch of a four-platform website that officials say redefines how county government will interact with constituents.
The launch of OpenMontgomery on Wednesday was coupled with landmark legislation that the County Council passed the day before, laying out a "digital roadmap" that will eventually give residents and businesses nearly unfettered access to online services and shared data, county officials said.
"This really is the future," said County Councilman Hans Riemer, who helped spearhead the initiative.
OpenMontgomery is divided into four portals:
accessMontgomery Accountability, accessibility and transparency services such as MC311 and CountyStat, the county's performance-tracking system for departments and inter-agency initiatives. AccessMontgomery also includes internal audits, spending disclosures and contracts.
dataMontgomery Disaggregated data such as budget line items, employee salaries, building permits and property tax records. The categories of data will expand in the months and years ahead.
engageMontgomery A social media platform for residents to weigh in on county initiatives and offer suggestions. Users earn "points" that can be cashed in for prizes like a free round of golf, a home security evaluation and a children's story time at a county library.
mobileMontgomery Links to the county’s mobile sites, including MC311 and Transportation’s Storm Operations, and smart-phone apps for reading crime reports, real-time bus schedules and checking out library books.