Dear Editor: I wholeheartedly agree with the city of Covington Planning Commissions recommendation that we beginning using 21st century software in Newton County to track important Planning and Zoning information.
Microsoft Excel (e.g. XL) had its genesis in 1982 as a user-friendly computation program. Since then it has evolved into a powerful tool that is more than useful to those who are familiar with computer and mathematical models. But for the vast majority of people, this is no longer a user-friendly tool for big jobs.
With all due respects to Councilmen Dalton and Smith, I must disagree with their decisions to vote against what I believe is a good, long-term solution. Complicated data, like permit inspection reports and other issues related to tracking compliance, cannot be left to an arcane data system or to files full of paperwork that are difficult at best to access.
Long-term economic development depends upon our ability as a city to nimbly access, analyze, and provide relevant information to our officials, citizens, and potential business partners. Moreover, it depends upon our ability to archive that information electronically. So that, as Mr. Johnson says if something happens, we (wont) lose everything.
Its 2010, folks. Time to spend some money wisely to take care of what we have now and plan for the future.