News from Patrick Flynn

One small step

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:

Hello Directors,

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…



This contribution was made on Friday, 23. September 2011 at 17:22 and was published under the category Other. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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  1. Thanks. One small step for transparancy, civility and democracy.

    Comment: friend43 – 28. September 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  2. That is good news, isn’t it? I am glad I made noise about this too Patrick, as I was not the only one that was greatly annoyed by this feature (or lack thereof) of MOA’s very large and expensive phone system.

    I was told that the Municipal Attorney’s office didn’t want people they called knowing who was calling them. So the other several thousand phones at MOA had to remain “unknown” for way too long.

    Good news! Bringing MOA into the technology age kicking and screaming, before phones become obsolete 😉

    Comment: Harriet Drummond – 29. September 2011 @ 12:24 am

  3. Thanks Pat. This has been an issue for too long.

    Comment: Albert Whitehead – 23. October 2011 @ 8:16 am

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