Council Roundup: Exploring use of electronic signatures

Council Roundup: Exploring use of electronic signatures

During an extended study session on Monday, the council discussed a draft resolution authorizing the use of digital and electronic signatures in the city. Digital and electronic signatures are a convenient and secure way of signing documents. Use of the process for official city business is projected to increase efficiency, leverage the city’s investments in digital technology and create an accessible, accurate and complete record of city business.

Within the Development Services Department, authorized use of digital and electronic signatures will support the goal of 100 percent paperless permitting. It will also enable a beginning-to-end electronic application processing, review, code enforcement and inspection. Most important, residents and customers will benefit from shortened permit process times and predictability, along with increased accessibility to permit documents for all users.

During the discussion, councilmembers directed staff to return to a future meeting with a resolution for potential adoption.

More information is available in the council’s agenda packet materials.

New Utilities emergency assistance program

Later, the council directed Utilities staff to bring back code changes for their approval to implement a new emergency assistance program. The proposed program would provide temporary utility rate relief to low-income customers experiencing financial crises, in addition to those not served by the current rate relief program.

The proposed program would enable qualified residents to temporarily avoid utility service interruption while resolving their financial crises. It will also be funded without impacting utility rates by modifying the existing Utility Rate Relief program.
Additional details can be found in the agenda packet materials.

Cultural and Economic Vitality Office update

The council also received an update on the Cultural and Economic Vitality Office’s (CEVO) business-related activities during the third quarter of 2018. CEVO is the recently created division of the Community Development Department that combines the previous teams in the Office of Economic Development and Arts Program. The council adopted Bellevue’s Economic Development Plan in July 2014, and it continues to guide the city’s approach work directly with businesses and improve the community’s cultural vitality.

During Q3, city economic development staff conducted more than a dozen business assistance cases, generated more than two dozen leads and prospects, and supported more than 7,000 jobs through direct services, like transportation assistance and permitting help. These activities assist both large companies like Amazon and Microsoft, and smaller local companies like “Nerds to Go.”

The city’s Innovation Triangle and Startup 425 partnerships with neighboring cities continue to reap strong dividends. More than 800 attendees, for instance, are expected this year at Startup 425 workshops. The program is notable for its strong diversity – more than 60 percent of workshop participants identify as women, and more than 60 percent identify as persons of color. Both Eastside partnerships will be further solidified in the coming months through a more formal memorandum of understanding.

More details on CEVO’s work are available in the agenda packet materials.

Published on 10/11/2018
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