City to consider community management system

Monday, August 4, 2008 | 8:34 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA - As mentioned by City Manager Bill Watkins in his budget message last week, the city will be moving forward with the recommendation to consider funding an electronic Community Issues Management system, or CIM.

A meeting on this topic will occur on Wednesday night, where information about the system will be presented by leaders of CIM to leaders of Columbia. Seventy-five of the city's leaders were invited, and 45 plan to attend.

Watkins said in his budget speech that this system would "greatly improve our ability to put resources where they can make the biggest impact."

Steve Hollis, manager of community services, said that this system has not been purchased yet, but if it were, it would allow groups to better manage data and make policy decisions.

The CIM system was developed at MU from a project led by Christopher Fulcher, co-director of the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems, and has been used by four other cities in the nation. Watkins said in his budget message that he wants Columbia to be the fifth city equipped with the system.

According to CIM's Web site, it is a wide-reaching, "web-based system where organizations use tools and data to frame, manage and take action on complex issues."

It also facilitates conversations between members of the community and organizations.

The system would be funded by an infrastructure grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

Watkins also noted that in this process, the city would partner with MU, the United Way and "other key human service partners."


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