Finally the Town government website has moo-ved into the 21st Century with a much needed overhaul. The revitalized site, which has finally gone live recently after years of planning for an upgrade, looks much better and is a lot more functional than the embarrassingly ancient site that our Town presented as our digital face to the world for many years. You can see a snapshot of the old website archived here.
Rather than the static image of the Town government center that greeted visitors for so many years, the new site has a changing panorama of images from around our Town, giving a better impression of our Town. Key information is front and center on the new site as well – the next three events on the Town calendar are shown, along with links to the full calendar. Additionally, links to the Town COWncil’s agendas and minutes are prominently displayed, although when we looked in mid-November, the special Town Meeting set for December 5th that was announced in the Town Manager’s report of October 25th wasn’t listed on the calendar.
Also on the front page is useful snippets of Town news, accompanied with easy access to all 32 Town forms and permit requests from the Alarm Permit Application to Private Wastewater Disposal (Septic) System Application through to the Volunteer Committee Application.
Along the top of the site, there are five expanding menus ( Residents, Business, Visitors, Town Hall, and ‘How Do I’) . The Residents menu covers community services, recreation, emergency preparedness, and the like, while Business has information on permits and starting and running a business in Town. Town Hall covers the Town government including the COWncil, boards and commissions, building, public works, and emergency services. Under Visitors, there is information on jobs with the Town as well as our Town demographics and history. The ‘How Do I’ section links you to information you may be searching for.
The Town’s first website went live in 2002, featuring a cute but crude drawing of Town Hall. That site stayed up for more than a year, and then by June 2003 the recently-replaced website was put up – and remained substantially unchanged for eight years! We clap our hooves for the Town’s much improved new site. We can’t help thinking in a Town populated by so many Silicon Valley leaders, our site needs to be something to kick up our heels about. The site still needs streaming video of all Town meetings. As long as donations keep coming in, we will keep doing what we can by MooTube LINK until the Town COWncil recognizes the value that this level of access and transparency provides.