COMMISSIONERS IN Hillsborough County, Florida are injecting a bit of Gov 2.0 into next year's budget legislation, which officials are hoping will soften the blow of painful cuts. Citizens are being asked to voice their opinion about budgetary matters on Facebook, Twitter and the country's official blog. Last year, Hillsborough County did something similar, but through public meetings and taking phone calls. While this outreach was effective (for example, fees were implemented in parks to keep them open seven days a week, and childcare license fees increased to help the county monitor those facilities at the behest of citizens), in the spirit of budget slashing, the county is practicing what it is being forced to preach this year.
Even the way in which the county will take suggestions over the phone is being affected by new technologies; Google Voice will be used to transcribe suggestions made by phone.