‘TRAK’-ing Permits

December 5, 2008

More than 3 years ago, in a report dated July 26, 2005 (recommendation #14), Management Partners, (currently under contract to find a replacement for ousted Planning Director Hope Sullivan), recommended that the town “Purchase and implement a new computer software system that automates the development review project tracking and financial systems.” A year later City Manager Susan George announced that she had chosen the TRAKiT system sold by CRW (see our story here). This system could, among other things: allow staff to quickly schedule inspections, enter inspection results, and manage inspector work schedules; link permits to address records, projects and other permits; instantly view reports with the information the user requests; remotely input/query data with the use of either PDA or laptop computers; sequencing of inspections to ensure proper progression, and automated inspection report creation.

Town Manager Susan George, in her written Report to COWncil for the October 28th Council meeting informed us that:

“The kick-off meeting with CRW, the vendor that is providing the software for Trakit, the Town’s new permit management system, is set for October 27th. We have adopted an implementation schedule that targets the end of April, 2009, for the new system to be fully online. This will include the public’s ability to access permit information through the Town’s website and for our staff to enter information remotely, using handheld devices in the field. Our Deputy Town Engineer, Eunejune Kim, is the project manager for the Town. He will be leading the implementation team through the process during the next several months. A staff member from every key area will be involved, including as planner, project manager, and building inspector. Copies of CRW’s brochures about Trakit are attached to the First Quarterly Budget Review, elsewhere on this evening’s agenda. We’ll keep you posted on implementation status.”

Despite this promise in her report, during the COWncil meeting, Susan did not tell the COWncil how the meeting with CRW (that presumably occurred the very day before ) had gone and the COWncil wasn’t interested enough to ask any questions about it.

So, the TRAKiT system will finally be implemented (if we are a little gullible and choose to believe Susan this time) at the end of April, 2009… almost FOUR years after the original recommendation was made. We know that the wheels of government grind slowly… but this is a little ridiculous, especially given the many known issues and complaints with permitting in our Town.

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