CityLink Makes Its Way to Charlottesville

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

July 6, 2005

A state-of-the-art computer system will help the city's government serve you better. CityLink is making way for a new area in Charlottesville, with Phase I starting now.

Putting more of what you asked for all in one place, that's what CityLink will offer citizens of Charlottesville.

"We're convinced it's going to provide better customer service to our citizens," said Gary O'Connell, City Manager.

CityLink is an integrated computer system that will make it easier for you to interact with the city. This means that when you call to request service, immediate access will be available for you because all of your information is at the representatives' fingertips.

"I think people are excited in city government that work with it, because it's a really powerful tool that we haven't had," added O'Connell. "People here want to do a good job, and they haven't had the tools to do it so we think this is going to make a huge difference for the public."

But everyone in the public isn't happy about the decision. The concern is not whether it's a good system, but the amount of money spent on it.

"It could be a good system, but we're over-paying for it," explained John Pfaltz, a former computer science professor. He said the city wasted money on a system that's too advanced for Charlottesville's needs.

"It's designed for a corporation," said Pfaltz. "It won't meet the varied needs that [our city] has, and that worries me. We're going to have to buy more computers to supplement it, and we shouldn't have to."

He said the city should have settled on a web-based system that's easier to use and more economical. But some say providing better service comes at a cost.

"Things that used to take a week to do, that we can do in 3 minutes obviously are going to have some major cost savings [in the long run]," explained O'Connell.

All 3 phases of CityLink are planned to be in place by January of next year.

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