Letter from the Mayor: August 2023
Letter from the Mayor: August 2023
July 26, 2023
I recently read a blog about the benefits of change and why we should embrace it and I’ll admit, at times I struggle with change. We are often resistant to change, but change is inevitable. Are unplanned and unexpected changes bad? What if all changes were good by default? At first, change can be difficult and annoying but the benefits become apparent with time. In life, when you’re stuck in a rut or just feel like the status quo isn’t good enough anymore, you might say, “I need a change”.
That’s how we felt about the city’s software and processes. Our goal is to provide the best possible customer experience. However, the software and processes we had in place did not offer the kinds of customer service which you have come to expect from today’s world of online shopping. Our accounting systems and utility billing software were not efficient enough, not customer-friendly enough, and not integrating with each other like the new generation of business technology systems are now capable of. Our systems were frankly outdated. It was time for an upgrade. We needed a change.
Changing a municipal government’s operating system is like changing the engine of a car. During the engine swap, the car isn’t drivable and you might find you need a part or tool which you hadn’t anticipated before you can finish installing the new motor. Well, we expected some parts of our software transition process to be difficult, plus we had additional unexpected hiccups along the way. We’re learning together how to use a new, more capable system. You might wonder whether the benefits of the new system are worth these temporary frustrations, and I believe they are. Here’s why:
- Staff across City Hall and Nixa Utilities are now using the same system, which cuts down paperwork, eliminates manual data re-entry, and reduces time-consuming errors. In short, it’s more efficient for both customers and staff.
- The new technology is cloud-based, reducing our risk of being hacked, making your data safer.
- Utility customers can now access their account history, view their usage history, and print old bills for themselves through myNixa.
- Utility customers can now change their payment preferences at any time, including various payment options through NixaPay which we could not offer before.
- Nixa Utilities customers no longer have to pay an extra fee to pay their bill online through NixaPay or through the new automated phone system.
- Landlords can more easily manage multiple property addresses in a single myNixa account, whether scheduling rental inspections, managing multiple utility accounts, or applying for multiple permits to improve their properties.
- Homeowners, builders and contractors can more easily apply for and track the progress of building permits across multiple properties. You can now log in to a single myNixa account any time to see the latest inspection update, or set your alert settings.
- Soon business owners will be able to renew business licenses in a faster, easier way using myNixa.
I truly appreciate not only your patience during this change but also the fact that so many people have been willing to help their friends, family, and neighbors who have struggled with this upgrade. Each change is a turning page. It’s about closing one chapter and opening another one. I’m looking forward to this new chapter that will give us the tools to serve our community better.
Mayor Jarad Giddens