Despite the fact that I’m the only Anchorage municipal official to maintain a blog (as far as I know) I am not known for quick adaptations to new technology. I once had a Blackberry but didn’t like it much, our family computer is laughably old and my wife maintains the mp3 player in our home. Yes, my nieces and nephews tease me about this and, some day, my kids probably will too.
One new-fangled invention with which I’ve become rather comfortable is caller ID. I don’t use it to screen calls, except to skip robo-calls and obvious solicitations, but it’s kind of nice to know who’ll be on the other end when I pick up (when I remember to look at the screen, anyway). Which is why, I suppose, I’ve long been mildly perturbed that every time I get a call from a municipal phone it shows up as “unknown name, unknown number.” That means I can’t tell if I’ll be talking to a crank hiding his or her identity or a municipal employee (or, in a few cases, both). I know, there are plenty of bigger issues in the municipal arena but, like I said, it’s a little irritating.
And I don’t really care who from the city might be calling or from what specific number; I’d just like the MOA switch to tell the little caller ID gremlins that the call is coming from an MOA phone. So I bugged a couple administration folks about it a few times and, lo and behold, received the following e-mail today:
In the coming weeks IT will turn on Outbound Caller-ID for all Muni VOIP phones (manufactured by Cisco).
When Caller-ID is turned on, calls from your department to citizens will display your department’s main phone number to the called party.
So, in the near future when someone calls from your city government your caller ID can tell you so. Whether you answer or not remains up to you…
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