Westhampton’s website to get a new appear, volunteers essential

Released: 1/19/2023 10:37:34 AM

WESTHAMPTON — The town is looking for a crew of four volunteers who will assistance oversee the growth of a new municipal web page.

Right after applying for the state’s Community Firm IT Grant Program in September, the town was notified in November that it experienced been awarded a grant of $39,340, stated Doug Finn, administrative assistant for the town. The town’s proposal met the state’s objective of “driving innovation and transformation at the community stage by using investments in technologies,” Finn additional.

In building the town’s learn program as section of the point out Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Application, which gives assist for towns and towns in Massachusetts to commence the procedure of preparing for climate adjust resiliency and employing priority projects, there was significant feed-back from the group throughout public listening periods that the city website needed substantial enhancement.

“It doesn’t satisfy the demands of the city,” claimed Finn. “It leaves a ton to be preferred.”

The town’s web-site, which was developed by CivicPlus around 2013, gives the public accessibility to conference agendas, minutes and conference recordings, and contains community data like city bylaws and procedures.

Nonetheless, the web site is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and does not comply with various platforms thanks to style restrictions and patterns of use.

“The web page appears distinct dependent on the product made use of by the viewer and it filters access to facts,” Finn stated. “The web page is hard to access and preserve, with methods that are at times frustratingly sophisticated for fundamental consumers. The conclusion outcome is that, in many cases, the website provides out-of-day content which just cannot be conveniently up to date by city departments and volunteer board members.”

With the Group Company IT Grant, the city hopes to launch a new web page that’s hosted on a secure, present day and entirely compliant system with very clear and person-welcoming content material and calendar management. The grant will fund the complex expenses of creating the internet site as properly as professional education for municipal workers.

Just one of the principal targets will be to have common and “three-click” obtain to high-precedence information regardless of the ability level of the user.

As element of the state needs of the grant, the town will will need to perform a study to create residents’ expectations of the web-site, which includes their most well-liked solutions of supply of info for municipal activities these as conference agendas, assembly minutes and video clips.

The plan also calls for a analyze group to oversee the growth of the web-site that will audit different web site internet hosting platforms, determine a person that gives for the town’s requires with the lowest complex skill set, and oversee the enhancement of a new, responsive and compliant website administration system.

A next study will be done soon after the launch of the new web site platform to assure that all the requires of citizens have been satisfied.

Those intrigued in taking part in the committee will need to have to invest one calendar year of time to the creation of the internet site. Ideally, candidates will have a background in web page enhancement or encounter in general public relations, but Finn says all intrigued parties are welcome to post their title for thought.

Fascinated candidates should really offer their call info and a letter explaining their history in an email to Finn at [email protected].

Emily Thurlow can be achieved at [email protected].