Bureau Of Engineering Surveyor Cuts Costs With New Solution -- Earning Second Mayor's Civic Innovation Award

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LOS ANGELES-- Mayor Eric Garcetti today presented the second Mayor’s Civic Innovation Award to Bureau of Engineering Surveyor John Tosto for developing a new way to do his job with a smartphone and off-the-shelf technology that saves time and taxpayer dollars.

The Mayor’s Civic Innovation Award is given to LA City employees who develop creative and common sense solutions to everyday problems to provide better customer service for residents -- a core component of Mayor Garcetti's back to basics agenda.
“John Tosto took the initiative to reject the status quo and work faster and better,” said Mayor Garcetti. “He used common sense and smart technology to change how we do business. This is exactly the kind of creative problem solving that my back to basics agenda is all about. I congratulate John and hope he serves as an example to others who may not want to rock the boat. We want people to challenge the standard playbook and find ways to increase efficiency and lower costs.”

Tosto developed a new way to mark mile intervals and main entrances along a 7-mile stretch of the LA River bike path. Previously, this would have required a three-person crew working on the ground for two weeks. But when Tosto incorporated off-the-shelf technology including Google Earth and his smartphone, he was able to hop on a bike and do the job himself in just two days, a savings of hundreds of work hours and thousands of taxpayer dollars.

The City's Bureau of Engineering’s Survey Division is now adopting Tosto's system to digitally map the location of maintenance holes throughout the city. Maintenance holes are often paved-over during street repairs, requiring multiple surveying trips to mark and locate them, which was done on paper. This new system will allow them the quickly and accurately digitally mapped and archived.

The Mayor's first Civic Innovation Award was awarded to Bureau of Sanitation employees who replaced paper maps with a smartphone app that allows them to work more efficiently and better communicate.