News

A New Option for Updating Your Code of Ordinances

published June 13, 2018

Every once in a while, we have an opportunity to stop and ask, “Is there a new way?”

Finally, the answer is, “Yes.”

How do we update our codes of ordinances today?

If you are like most municipalities it might look something like this: Has anyone seen a copy of Ordinance 2015-45? Yes, I think it’s in the filing cabinet. Nope, its already been put into the code book in chapter 23. Great! Can someone get me a copy? Wait a minute, can’t we just download the section from our online code? Yes! We can. Let’s download it to our computer and make the changes. Then we can draft a new ordinance and present it to our attorney. Great plan!

2 weeks later: The attorney made a bunch of changes and we’ve got the council meeting on Thursday. We’ve got to hurry up and get this taken care of, so we can get it into the meeting packet.

1 week later: Alright! We made it and council passed the new ordinance! Let’s get the ordinance emailed to our codifier.

2 weeks later: Does anyone know if ordinance 2015-45 made it into the code? I don’t know, let me check the printed code book. Nope. Not there. How about the online code? Yes! It’s updated. Nice! The manager wants us to make some more changes to it. Not again!

If this sounds somewhat familiar, you aren’t alone. This process, or a variation thereof, replays itself thousands of times each and every week—until now…

Today there is a better, more efficient, and more affordable process to maintain your codes of ordinances. Rather than working from outdated paper ordinances, or downloading sections of your code to your desktop for later modification, how about making changes directly to the online code?

What if strikethroughs and underlines could appear as you type, and your changes be made visible to your colleagues? Once the changes are complete, what if an automatically-generated ordinance could “wrap around” your changes, ready to be added to councilmember packets?

And, wait for it…What if this online system could tabulate the votes of each councilperson, instantly sign and seal the document and then if passed, update your online and printable code immediately?

Is there a better way? Yes. It’s called Self-Publishing Software.

The genesis behind this approach arose when a small Utah municipality contracted with a cutting-edge software company. The goal was to enable city staff to manage their own code. Upon rollout, it was an instant success. Not long after, customers and the software’s creators discovered that the key to efficiently supplementing a municipal code was dependent upon the creation of well-drafted ordinances.

One innovator said, “We married our automatic ordinance builder to the online code, which eliminated redundancy. We made the process easy, and then made sure it would automate numerous tasks city staff would otherwise perform manually.”

Self-Publishing Software is powerful. It harnesses modern editorial tools to compliment what municipalities do already…draft ordinances. Unlike past attempts to empower municipalities to update their own codes, this innovative approach doesn’t require anyone to add steps to their routines or learn a foreign system. If you are already drafting ordinances and are familiar with Microsoft Word, the Self-Publishing Software will take care of the rest.

The self-publishing trend has already been embraced by nearly 100 municipalities. It was created, designed and put to the test by attorneys, clerks, and managers—your colleagues. If you have ever wondered if there is another way, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

Please join us for a webinar tour June 21st at 12:00 PM EST (Click here to reserve your seat)

If you would like a personal demonstration of Municode’s new Self-Publishing Software, please contact Kimball Clark at 850.692.7708 or kimball@municode.com

If the self-publishing approach isn’t for you, don’t worry, Municode stands ready to continue serving you and our 4,500 local government clients across the nation with our team of over 230 legal and technical experts.