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2018 Annual Meeting Set Oct 5, 2017

CSC Annual Meeting
Thursday, Oct 5, 2017

9:00 AM Refreshments
10:00 AM Meeting Begins

11:45 AM  Meeting Likely to Adjourn
Publick House, Sturbridge

 Agenda here….

New LA4 Report Available

The DOR has updated the requirements for the LA4 Report.  The new report is now available for all CSC communities.  If you have a local installation (e.g. Oracle) you can get the file here: LA4 LINK

If you need help with the install, contact DLS support and they will be happy to assist you.

All cloud communities already have the new LA4 report updated as of August 31st., 2016

 

Mass IT Releases RFQ for State CAMA System

CAMA System Bid Process
As mentioned in previous updates, the state is moving forward on its commitment to replace the current CSC/State CAMA system.  MassIT is taking the lead in this process, having received a $500,000 capital allocation for this purpose.  

The state procurement process is a bit different from municipal procurement, and can be a much lengthier process than municipal procurement.   Because of a very tight timeline, and a state requirement that the first $500,000 needs to be expended in FY17, MassIT made the decision to proceed with an RFQ to convert all CSC CAMA users to another system.

Once a vendor is selected, the state will assist with the conversion of CSC communities to the new software.  MASSIT funds will be used to cover these conversion costs. The DOR has pledged to help make the transition as smooth as possible.  It is anticipated that the process to convert all towns will take several years, and, although there is no guarantee, the expectation is that MassIT will request funds to be available in FY18 and FY19 to complete the process as necessary.

In the interim, the system you are currently using will continue to be supported by both DOR and Stonewall Solutions.

The schedule is as follows:
Aug 22, 2016          RFQ released to Public
Aug 29, 2016          Questions Deadline
Sept 16, 2016         RFQ Bids Deadline
Sept 26-30, 2016    Vendor Demonstrations  (Exact Dates  TBA)
Oct 11, 2016           Bidder Decision Finalized
Oct 13, 2106           CSC Annual Meeting

There are a lot of questions and logistics involved in this process.  The board is working diligently to identify all relevant issues, and potential options for membership consideration. Each of you will likely have many questions that you’d like clarification about. You may have ideas or perspectives that it would be important for the board to consider. Please contact the Executive Director or any CSC board member and let us know what concerns you, and your ideas or suggestions for solutions if appropriate.

If you’d like to see a copy of the RFQ, it is available here:

https://www.commbuys.com/bso/external/bidDetail.sdo?docId=BD-17-1060-ITD00-ITD00-00000009527&external=true&parentUrl=bid

CSC Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting date has been set for Oct. 13, 2016.  As noted above there will be very important items to discuss.

RFP – Support Services

The Community Software Consortium (CSC) is soliciting Proposals for the acquisition of Software Support Services for its suite of Municipal Software. A software support service should be able to carry out tasks such as: remote trouble shooting and software conflict solving, installation and basic usability assistance, as well as supplying updates and patches for bugs and security holes in the supported software. Service should be able to support one or more cloud, server or PC-based platforms.

A copy of the RFP is available here.

The CSC reserves the right to cancel or reject in whole or part, any or all proposals in the best interest of the CSC. Proposal deadline is 11:30 a.m. EDT on November 13, 2015. Late proposals will not be accepted.

Results of Schedule A Enhancements

This is a repost of an article from the January 2, 2014 City & Town.

Results of Schedule A Enhancements
David L. Davies – Information Technology Director

About a year ago, a survey on Schedule A submissions on DLS Gateway generated strong opinions on two issues:

1.) Re-formatting Part 3 to make it easier to enter online, i.e. make it like the Excel-based Auto Schedule A. Fifty percent of respondents said entering Part 3 online was either relatively or very difficult.

2.) For communities that find it valuable to organize their data in the Excel-based Auto Schedule A, allow upload from that Excel file without having to re-enter data online. Sixty-four percent of respondents reported using some or the entire Excel program in preparing Schedule A submissions.

The DLS Response:

1.) Reprogram the online forms for Parts 2 through 6 to duplicate the format of the Excel-based program;

2.) Partner with the Community Software Consortium (CSC) to provide a no-cost bridge program available to any community to securely copy the data from the Excel-based Auto Schedule A to DLS Gateway.

This article is about the latter response. I alerted accountant/auditors to the coming bridge program in a June email. DLS speakers have mentioned it at conferences and DLS included details about it in the Excel program instructions. Testing and refinement continued in the early fall. Without further advertising, some fifty cities and towns to date (12/20/2013) have downloaded the program from the CSC website (http://csc-cloud.us/cloud/schedule-a/).

Forty-one communities subsequently submitted their Schedule A’s. Comparing the bridge program download dates from the CSC and the Schedule A submission dates on DLS Gateway, the data suggest the bridge program has greatly sped up and simplified submission. The median elapsed time between download and submission is two days. Over one-third of communities downloaded the bridge and submitted their Excel-based data the same day. Previously, many communities would use Excel to organize their data and then would have to reenter it online. Communities of all sizes and locations used the bridge program from small western towns to large eastern cities.

DLS was able to directly and immediately address its stakeholders’ concerns because of the flexibility and mission of the Community Software Consortium. The CSC is made up of and governed by Massachusetts municipalities who pay dues to underwrite technology solutions for members. In this instance, the CSC felt an investment that would quickly benefit all cities and towns, regardless of membership status, would help raise the organization’s profile among local officials and demonstrate the kind of creative low-cost solutions it can provide.

We have had some feedback on the bridge program. One local official took the time to write, “I just uploaded my Schedule A spreadsheet into the Gateway using your new Upload Option and I just wanted to say LOVE IT! Thank you for doing that. You just saved me hours of tedious work!”

If your experience is worth a comment, please let us know by emailing daviesd@dor.state.ma.us. This innovation happened because we asked and you responded.

FY 2016 Dues Set

At the annual meeting in September, the FY 2016 dues were set.  More information here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSC announces appointment of New Executive Director

CSC Breaking News:

RK-PhotoBalancedOct 15, 2013 The Community Software Consortium is pleased to announce the appointment Rebecca Krause-Hardie, as our new CEO & Executive Director.

We are delighted to have Rebecca as our Executive Director and CEO. Her expertise and energy will enable us to significantly expand services and respond to needs of our current and future members.”   Tammy Blackwell, CSC Chair

CSC is a unique Software Consortium of 67 communities, across Massachusetts. We build, share and support; responsive, cost-effective, state of the art technology solutions for municipal government.

With the successful launch of its new Cloud-Based, Assessing and Collection Systems; the CSC board recognized the need for a dedicated professional, to extend its offerings, reach out and listen to towns and communities, and build collaborative partnerships, across Massachusetts and neighboring states.

“The CSC has well served its communities relying on the efforts of volunteer members. As the CSC expands its programs and membership to achieve savings in regionalization and shared services, it is fortunate to have someone like Rebecca who can wear so many hats critical to building the organization beyond its current roles.”    David Davies, Director of IT of the DOR Division of Local Services.

The ever-increasing demands on local government, and belt tightening needed to achieve balanced budgets; CSC Products, such as it Open Source Cloud Based Collections System, provides unparalleled value, significant cost savings, and state of the art technology to member communities.

 

Rebecca Krause-Hardie – Bio

Rebecca brings significant management experience to the CSC, in municipal government, corporate finance, marketing, technology, strategic planning, project management, and community public service.

As  Royalston Tax Collector, and project manager, Rebecca  was instrumental in Royalston receiving & implementing,  a $290K State Community Innovation Challenge Grant, on behalf of the CSC, to develop Cloud-Based Financial Software, now in field testing.

As the owner of AudienceWorks, a national management consulting firm, she has worked with The New York Philharmonic, Caring.com, and the Boston Symphony among many others. Krause-Hardie conceived the idea for the award-winning New York Philharmonic’s first interactive children’s music education website http://www.nyphilkids.org and acted as its Executive Producer for over 10 years.

Other career highlights: Orchestra Manger for the Detroit Symphony & Director of New Media for the League of American Orchestras.  Rebecca is a Julliard Graduate, French Horn Player & Teacher. She is a Member of the Town Finance Committee, a Call Fire Fighter/EMT on the Royalston Fire Department, and is the town’s IT Director.