The Baltimore Sun
April 05, 2000
LET’S HEAR IT for Frank Perrelli. With just $150 for an extra piece of software, the planning department graphic designer has created a breakthrough Web site for Baltimore city government.
Unlike the City Council’s much-ballyhooed $150,000 Web site (which is still a bust), the Perrelli version — baltimorecity.gov — actually gives citizens useful information. It contains Mayor Martin O’Malley’s transition task force reports and recommendations. The new crime-fighting strategy, too, will be on the Web.
A Web site, though, is only as good as its links.
Those referrals show how poorly some municipal agencies and private-sector organizations maintain their own sites. Some cities have shown great inventiveness in developing their information technology. Boston allows violators to pay parking tickets online with a credit card. Torrance, Calif., broadcasts City Council meetings live on the Internet.
Baltimore, too, must take better advantage of these short-cuts. There is no reason whatsoever why routine permit applications could not be filed online or their status checked without a series of phone calls. It’s past time to drag city government into the 21st century. Mr. Pirelli’s site is a good start.
(spelling and capitalizations are original – ed.)