Earlier this week, the Georgetown News Graphic had a story about the town of Sadieville, in northern Scott County, population of about 350, getting its new website. With discussions coming most every legislative session now, that local government agencies should be able to handle all public notices on their own website, when I see a city has a website listed, I want to check it out.
So imagine the surprise when not once, not twice, perhaps 10 to 15 times including twice this morning, I tried to access the www.sadievilleky.gov website. One thing has been consistent each and every time — the same message keeps popping up. I did talk with Jackie Anders who wrote the story and while she was able to get to the website on her work computer, her attempt by mobile phone would not allow access because it could not guarantee it was secure. So I’m researching more to see why one might access it, another may not. Whatever the reason, it makes a compelling argument against using public agency websites as the sole route to notify the public of what’s going on in government.
Here’s the story by Jackie Anders, a reporter for the News-Graphic:
The City of Sadieville now has a new website that reflects the commitment of the commissioners to provide a reliable and thrifty website to the citizens and to anyone else interested in knowing more about the historic town.
City Clerk Carol Strother is pleased the website was created by someone who is familiar with the town, she said.
“We hired Aubrey Aynes to do the website work,” said Strother. “She has visited Sadieville many times and is familiar with our town.”
The website has been live since October, but the process of adding information to the site continues.
“We want this to be a tool residents can use if they have questions about city services,” said Strother. “There are links on the website that will make it easier for people to contact city officials and get all kinds of information.”
The new website is more cost effective than the older one, costing a quarter of the expense of the first website, she said. The website also uses a .gov server, which according to Strother is more reliable.
“Our goal was to have a website people would like to use and that cost less, and I think we have achieved that.”
The small town of approximately 350 people has been using a Facebook account for most of its public information but Strother prefers the website for its interactive features.
“Residents have an opportunity to get on various email lists. We can send out emails regarding upcoming city events before they need to contact us.”
The city’s site is found at www.sadievilleky.gov.