Ever since West Palm Beach was designated the second most "technologically advanced" city of its size in the U.S. by a Digital Communities survey last year, we've been waiting to see if Mayor Lois Frankel was going to start jetting around to commission meetings in a flying saucer. It didn't exactly make us proud to learn we'd tied with Independence Missouri and Richardson Texas, but still, we'd made the list. Maybe the new City Center was going to turn out to be a marvel to rival those cool futuristic displays at the Science Museum - you know, city employees appearing as holograms, letters whisked from office to office in pneumatic tubes, that kind of thing. That $154 million the city spent on the Center ought to buy a lot of gizmos, right?
So it was sort of disappointing to learn that all that high tech energy was going into "addressing cost inefficiencies specifically related to obtaining construction permits" according to a news release from Avolve Software. Avolve has evidently sold the city a program called ProjectDox, which "serves as a conduit that feeds a variety of programs in an effort to more efficiently manage complex internal processes and provide outward-facing tools to better serve respective constituents faced with the effects of continuing growth and budget restrictions," Avolve CEO Ron Loback told EarthTimes.com
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If you can decode that sentence without using special hi-tech doublespeak software you are a lot smarter than us. But we are in favor of anything that will speed up those needless construction delays in downtown West Palm, anything that would make it faster to waive building heights limitations. Maybe the new software will also work to muzzle the objections of property owners tired of seeing their tax dollars diverted to big-ego projects, to defang critics of "pay to play," in which developers pull out their checkbooks and make campaign donations to grease the wheels. Perhaps now secretaries will merely have to type in the word "Catalfulmo" to instantly generate reams of permits. Now that would be some cool software.