How up-to-date are your local government websites? You know, cities and towns, county, school district(s) and any other public agencies locally.
Newspapers pointing out how old information is on local government websites is nothing new. Since the legislature started allowing some public agencies (school districts back in 2002) to put public notices on their own websites, newspapers have checked out those websites. We’ve found mayors who haven’t been in office, some for eight years, still listed as the town’s mayor. We’ve found a few public officials — city commissions/councils, fiscal court members — who are deceased and have been for a few years.
The issue came up at the KPA Board’s Virtual Reality meeting on Thursday and it didn’t take long for an example to be sent in. Check out the “current” website above — current referring to the “New Hancock County Ordinances” on the notice above.
Read the print below “in Adobe PDF format.” It reads:
“Effective September 22, 2008.”
2008!! It was posted almost 12 years ago and is still prominent on the Hancock County website.
So here’s your challenge and one we beg you to accept. Check the websites of your local public agencies and see how current the site is. Find a mayor or judge executive who hasn’t been in office for a while? A city council or fiscal court or school board member who has been out of office for a while? Any public officials shown who are now deceased? Other parts of the website that shows it is not being kept up to date?
We have a couple of examples from years past but the KPA Board wants a concerted effort to find how current the information is on websites and then share it with the General Assembly when it next has the brilliant idea of posting public notices on government websites?
Do you really think if a “new” ordinance is still the focus 12 years later, that the agency is going to make sure all public notices are current? Better yet, does the General Assembly believe the agencies are going to make sure the public notices get posted in a timely manner and remain on the website for the specific length?
Gather those examples. Make a screen shot or save the example as a jpg and send it to me. I think we can end up with a gallery of examples that local government agencies aren’t able to take on that responsibility yet.