Toilet 242x300 A Toilet That Symbolizes Intelligent Municipal Government

The City of Portland has designed a public toilet that it has patented and is selling to other municipalities. The public restroom contains the following features:

  • Stainless steel anti-graffiti wall panels mounted on a slim-profile steel structure, that weighs a fraction of a typical restroom, making it easier to install in high traffic locations.
  • It is lit by 100 percent solar-powered LED lights equipped with motion sensors for energy conservation.
  • The stainless steel panels are louvered and allow for surveillance by the community (without sacrificing privacy).
  •  The restroom has an exterior handwashing station that helps to deter illicit activity.

Portland has sold one of their restrooms to the British Columbia City of Victoria for $40,000.

“The Portland Loo symbolizes intelligent municipal government,” said Barry Greenfield, editor and publisher of EfficientGov. “The city created a patentable product solving a problem for all municipalities, and similarly, their sales initiative to other cities is an important innovation in government. Generating new revenue helps to alleviate taxpayer reliance. The Loo shows how government can become a profitable resource rather than a net spender.”

Portland officials have taken a very creative and entrepreneurial approach. Should municipal officials be in the business of creating and selling patented products?

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About The Author

The definition of reinvent is:to replace with an entirely new version, to make over completely, to recast something familiar or old into a different form.In my opinion we need to reinvent government, business and ourselves. Today’s world is about constant change driven by the power of new ideas.For the past 17 years as an attorney, I have worked in government at the county, city, authority and school district level in the Buffalo, NY area. I have seen first hand the need for reinventing how government operates. For a period of four years, I served as Chief of Staff to the 9 member City of Buffalo Common Council. Government must engage the talents and skills of its citizens by becoming more collaborative and transparent in its decision-making and operations. Utilizing technology as a tool to engage citizens is something all governments need to explore.I have great respect for entrepreneurs as they put their passion into a vision, which results in new products, new services and new jobs. Entrepreneurs are on the front lines of change. As an adjunct college instructor, I see how students and everyone for that matter must continually change and reinvent themselves to survive and be successful in today’s crazy world economy.Some of my favorite change agent writers are Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Gary Hamel and Guy Kawasaki. I welcome the opportunity to meet new people, to further my own learning and to share ideas.On a personal note I am 47 years old, my other half Cheryl is an attorney in private practice and together we have three children, Michael age 20 and Joseph age 14 and our newest shock of an addition Julia, born 11/2/11.

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