Georgia County Government - Fall 2013 - (Page 11)

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Communication in the Electronic Age By Mike Berg President >> Think about the possibilities of attending meetings online, interacting with a committee where everyone could see and hear each other. Even take a virtual tour while talking to a tour guide. WHEN I WAS a kid a long time ago, I remember my dad bringing home a cathode tube. He worked at DuMont Laboratories, an early producer of some of the first TV’s. They actually had a TV network like ABC and CBS. Too inquisitive, I immediately picked it up and starting playing with it. You know what happened next. One of many times I got a Navy backhand. We had one of the first TV’s. Imagine my surprise when I watched Dick Tracy speak to his watch and get a reply. Today, you can work a computer from eyeglasses and tomorrow it will be embedded in a contact lens. There are many communication programs such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Almost everybody I know carries a Blackberry, iPhone, Samsung or other smart phone device. The point is how far electronics have improved our communication abilities. One of my goals as president is to push us further toward electronic communication. ACCG already has come a long way. We are transitioning a lot of printed material to the new and improved website. Each month brings new information that can help you understand what ACCG and your fellow commissioners are doing. The association sends you DVDs on important topics that you can share with the community. Instant messaging is being used for alerts and updates. For those of you who have not used it, take a stroll through the Membership Dashboard, Just about every piece of data concerning you and the association can be found there: a very complete profile of elected and employed people associated with county government, some state government people, our insurance program and retirement program participation, area maps, bills in action, hot links to other areas of interest and a lot more. I counted the other day, the number of association functions you could attend during the course of one year. Elected Officials (26), add (three) more for the Board of Managers. I’m personally up to 50 so far! That does not include specialized committee meetings! These meetings encompass training, policy and association matters. That is a lot of time, gas and money. So how do we improve our time management and save travel money? Our association has begun using Webinars for important topics of interest. I joined one the other day that Associate Legislative Director Shaun Adams conducted. He did a great job but only had about 30 or so people online. I have used Go to Meeting, Skype and Google video chat a few times and found it easy to operate and very useful. Our Dawson County Magistrate even uses Google Video Chat to talk to the Sheriff booking people with a lot of success and it is virtually free! In October 2012, I was part of a virtual online summit that spoke to people about electronic innovation in Dawson County. The Development Authority, under the leadership of Director Charlie Auvermann, partnered with Global Speak and the North Georgia Network allowing officials, at different locations, to communicate with those people who logged on throughout Georgia and the U.S. Since that time, a second summit has been conducted on medical organization in Dawson County. So the first step is electronic technology, which we have today. The next step is for our association to make it available to us in different media forms and train us on how to use it. The last is for us to participate by tuning in. Remember, I said earlier that very few people joined Shaun’s presentation. Think about the possibilities of attending meetings online, interacting with a committee where everyone could see and hear each other. Even take a virtual tour while talking to a tour guide. This is a busy time for all of us! There are a lot of meetings, presentations, family matters and just life in general. But for us to truly serve our constituents, we need to have every bit of information at our disposal in the quickest time possible without spending a lot of money to get it. For those people who feel a little insecure when saying hello to a computer screen, do not worry, you are not alone! ■ FALL 2013 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Fall 2013

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
UGA’s Archway Partnership: Empowerment for Georgia’s Communities
Oglethorpe County: Focusing on the Benefi ts of Protecting Rural Roots
Eliminating Risks: LGRMS Celebrates 25 Years
Where Do We Stand? One Year after Georgia’s Criminal Justice Reform
Understanding the Impacts of Juvenile Justice Reform
New Jail Facilities: Counties Focus on New Technology and Capacity to Expand
2013 Legislative Service Award Recipients
Hospital Survival: Informed County Commissioners Can Preserve Local Health Care
Federal New: More Gridlock and Uncertainty May Be Expected in Washington for FY 2014
Slice by Slice: Students Learn About the Signifi cance of Agriculture on Pizza Farms
Talking Trees with Georgia’s County Commissioners
Partner News: Value at the Heart of the Unique Gas South-ACCG Partnership
Commercial Swimming Pool Renovations Do’s and Don’ts
Counties & The Law: The Supreme Court, the Voting Rights Act and Georgia Counties
Legal News: Bidding in Georgia: What to Do When the Lowest
Conference Preview: Legislative Leadership
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - Fall 2013