Town website to be upgraded next week

Big platform enhancements come with a trade off - fewer old meeting minutes online for users. (They will still be available by request.)

Above: If you’ve been on the Town’s website lately, you may have seen a notice that changes are coming.

Long awaited enhancements to the Town’s website will be implemented next week. Some public questions have been raised about the how many meeting minutes will “migrate” to the new platform. So, I wanted to get some answers and give readers notice of coming changes.

Currently, the Town’s website displays meeting minutes going back seven years for most boards or committees and even as far as 10+ years for a few key committees. (The Select Board’s go all the way back to 2009.)

That is about to change with the relaunch. In general, agendas and minutes may only be publicly available at the click of a button going back about three years. (The Town could decide to invest in keeping more. If so, it will be at an additional cost for the additional amount of storage required.)

The public will still be able to access older documents by request. But to avoid unnecessary admin time by Town staff, if there are minutes you already know that you want to keep access to, you may want to download/print them now.

Hopefully, the tradeoff for fewer old documents is a website that better serves the community’s needs.

One improvement related directly to minutes & agendas is that they will also be linked to the YouTube videos of meetings for “a one-stop shop to review all information pertaining to the meeting”.

That quote is from IT Manager Jason Montijo, who I reached out to for details. He confirmed that the “Civic Engage platform” includes improvements to ADA compliance. It also has better “user experience with hand-held devices and searching for information on the website.” 

From public meetings and conversations, I know that staff and volunteers are hopeful that they will have a much easier time adding information to and updating the site to communicate better with the public. 

In a recent Municipal Technology Committee meeting, Montijo assured that he would not flip the switch for a changeover until he was confident that it is ready. In an email yesterday, he updated me that he is confident that the switchover will take place the week of May 15th.

His email included:

Upgrading the town’s website is a fluid project in that we will always look for improvements to engage the community and enhance the ways residents can obtain the information they need. I am very excited about this update and hope that the community will feel the same way.

He also shared a link for anyone that wants to look at the ways the CivicPlus platform has helped other communities.

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John Kendall
15 days ago

Perhaps during the upgrade, they can put the new superintendent’s name under the DPW. I mean, he did take the job, right?

Kelly Roney
14 days ago

I’d like to see the town keep all agendas and minutes published on the site. The extra cost should be minimal. To rip an old quote from Jerry Brown totally out of context, space is cheap.

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