Building High-Performance Government:

Key Tenets & Best Practices from the City of Scranton

High performance is not always easy to define, but we know it when we see and experience it.

 The key tenets include: doing things the right way, creating more impact with less work and fewer resources and staying focused on goals. High-performance governments do these things across departments and functions and share results proactively.

The City of Scranton is a great example. Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti was elected on a platform of building trust in government. The City of Scranton is modernizing operations for efficient and responsive government by implementing new technology to provide better services in the most cost-effective way possible. The mayor and department heads are also adopting tools and practices to show the impact to members of the community.

Join Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti, experts in high-performance government tactics, and OpenGov to explore:

  • The key tenets of high-performance government and what it looks like for the City of Scranton
  • How to define and measure high performance across your key departments, from the budget office to DPW
  • How to advance the performance of all key departments and tips your agency can implement today
Picture of Brenda Decker — Moderator
Brenda Decker — Moderator

Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government

Brenda Decker most recently spent five years with IBM as a Director for Global Government Industry services. Prior to IBM, Brenda served in Nebraska state government for 37 years, 10+ years as the state's chief information officer with responsibility for state government computing, telecommunications, public safety radio, and video conferencing. Her expertise leading, transforming and managing large IT organizations has created high-performing teams and partnered cross functional public and private organizations. Her work has garnered both local and national recognition for her contributions to government technology.

Picture of Paige Cognetti
Paige Cognetti

Mayor — City of Scranton, PA

Mayor Cognetti was sworn in as Mayor of Scranton on January 6, 2020. She won re-election to a full term in November 2021. Prior to becoming Mayor, she advised the Pennsylvania Auditor General on oversight of public school districts and care for older adults. Mayor Cognetti previously served as a director on the Scranton School Board. Mayor Cognetti served in the Obama administration as a senior advisor to the Under Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department. She was a fundraiser and project director on numerous political campaigns. She also worked as an investment advisor in New York City. Mayor Cognetti holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated summa cum laude from University of Oregon Clark Honors College with a BA in English Literature. Mayor Cognetti grew up in Beaverton, Oregon. She lives in Scranton with her husband and their daughter.

Picture of Scott Coble
Scott Coble

Director of Product, OpenGov

Prior to his role at OpenGov, Scott served as Budget Manager with Montgomery County, MD, Government’s (MCG) Office of Management and Budget (OMB). While there, he led a team that built a national award-winning budget application called BASIS which replaced numerous failing legacy and ERP budget systems. BASIS revolutionized the budget process (Operating and Capital) in Montgomery County and saved the jurisdiction substantial time, effort and money. Mr. Coble has extensive knowledge and experience in both the private and public sectors, serving in a number of different capacities including budget management, software engineering, information security, project management and graphic/web design. Over the last 20+ years Scott has worked for Fortune 500 companies ( General Electric | Lockheed Martin ), small to mid-size businesses (OpenGov | ASSYST), and as a contractor / employee for both local ( Montgomery County, MD | City of Frederick, MD) and the federal government ( Intelligence Community | Department Of Defense ).

Picture of Nick Kittle
Nick Kittle

Government Performance and Innovation Coach, OpenGov and CEO, Sustainovation

Nick is the author of the best-selling innovation book Sustainovation: Building Sustainable Innovation in Government, One Wildly Creative Idea at a Time, and spent the last 15 years in government, most recently as a Chief Innovation Officer. During his government career, Nick won 3 national awards for innovation, directed 17 different divisions, and developed over 65 unique or first-of-their-kind pilot projects while directly generating $7.8 M in savings and pioneering the concept of Innovation Value. Nick now keynotes and trains across the country on building Sustainovation in government and has visited over 80 different communities to help them transform their mindset

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