Tyler’s efforts to promote transparency in local government captured the attention of the Texas Municipal League, which presented it this week with the 2012 Municipal Excellence Award in Communications during its annual conference in Grapevine.
The mayor said she is proud of the award because it reflects the philosophy of local leaders: keep the residents informed.
“Transparency in government is a priority for our organization,” she said, noting the annual report is an important instrument in those efforts.
Officials said people seek information that’s quick, easily accessible and interactive.
The annual report’s E-Book format allows residents to view the report at their convenience via computer, smart phone or tablet and link up to YouTube videos as a supplement to the text.
External Relations Director Susan Guthrie said tough economic conditions led to the decision to curtail printing thousands of hard copies of its annual report and move toward an electronic version.
Instead of printing 25,000 copies, they printed 5,000 so residents without Internet access could still access the information.
In the end, the efforts paid off in ways no one expected.
“It’s a huge thing for us to be recognized,” Ms. Guthrie said. “We’re very excited — we tried really hard to make it (report) interesting.”
The Texas Municipal League is an association comprised of more than 1,200 Texas cities and recognized as the largest organization of its kind in the United States.
The Excellence Awards recognize and encourage the achievements of Texas cities in meeting the challenges of municipal government through problem-solving, management, resident participation and city services.