City spending wisely with tech upgrades

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 13, 2013

Normally, we’re not fans of what seems like an ever-expanding government spending spree.

Taxpayer dollars should be handled with care — each and every one of them.

But government exists to serve the people, and smart spending is not the same as simply spending.

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The City of Natchez is doubling what it spends on technology. But the dollars — at least in design — can be well spent.

The city’s budget for the new fiscal year includes plans to spend money to launch a new city website, one that would allow residents and taxpayers to pay utility and other city bills online.

Such services are normal in most American cities these days and long overdue in Natchez.

Such a website would save residents and businesses time and money.

More changes planned in the expanded information technology department’s budget include upgrades at the Natchez police and fire departments that would allow for better electronic recordkeeping.

Processing and storing reports electronically means easy access for the public and for the emergency response personnel who need to access information in the heat of the moment to potentially save lives.

Spending more money on technology today than we did yesterday is a given in this world. Doing so smartly will mean saving money elsewhere.

Doubling the IT budget is a good idea, on paper. But as the IT folks will tell you, keeping your ideas on paper is so last year.

Instead, the city must examine and re-examine how the additional dollars heading to IT are being spent.

If spent correctly, this could be a great example of well-spent tax money.