Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Borough may reboot website

 

October 13, 2011



The Haines Borough is accepting proposals for website redesign and development through Friday, Nov. 4.

"We want something that’s fast and modern-looking, clean, and easy for the public, staff and elected officials to use," said borough clerk Julie Cozzi. "We’re hoping that people will present ideas."

She said the request is due to increased staff time spent on the site at http://www.hainesborough.us.

"It has grown to the point where it takes (deputy clerk Jamie Heinz) and me so much time to maintain," Cozzi said.

She said the work takes "a minimum" of two hours a week, "but that would be if there wasn’t much going on."

"For example, we used to have all the adopted resolutions and ordinances on there, and I just recently removed that link, because it was woefully out of date," Cozzi said. "Something had to give."

She said Steve Vick of the Haines Borough Assembly also has asked for the site to be upgraded.

"I think the site can work a lot more efficiently for the user and a lot more effectively for the staff," Vick said. "Simple things like online payment of your taxes and online payment of your business license – there’s no need for people to come in to fill it out and turn it in, and there’s no need for staff to have to enter it into a database, when it can all be done online."

Vick said he would like the site to be more searchable and to have more extensive archives, to help residents "actively participate" in government.

"Technology opens up a lot of opportunities to make everyone’s job easier, and to make government work better," he said.

Cozzi said the site has been popular and the borough receives "many compliments about how simple it is and how easy it is to find things."

"We definitely know it’s not perfect, and we agree it is very simple, but with the lowest common denominator in mind is how we’ve always maintained our website," she said. "We’ve always tried to keep it so it wasn’t flashy, with a bunch of photos and graphics that can keep some websites from loading very quickly."

The borough’s request for proposals states "a firm that can handle all site planning, interface design, programming and production is required" in order to be considered.

"Just because we put an RFP out doesn’t mean we have to enter into a contract," Cozzi said. "It’s a good way to find out what’s out there, and what something like that would cost."

She said the site should remain simple for users. "Whatever our new modern website will be, it’s got to load quickly, and it still has to be easy for people to find stuff."