County Executive Matt Meyer’s office released this request to residents to provide input on redesigning the County’s website. They are looking at a major overhaul of this website to focus on more transparency, as well as better and better organized information to residents and other stakeholders. Got ideas on how the site could work better for you? Then take the survey here.
Then come back here and tell us what your great ideas were. You might find a few of us willing to join you in advocating for those ideas.
Press Release follows:
New Castle, DE – County Executive Matthew Meyer today announced that New Castle County will redesign its flagship website (www.nccde.org) in an effort to increase transparency and efficiency and improve information sharing with residents, employers, visitors and other stakeholders. For the first time ever, county residents can guide the redesign by contributing their ideas at www.nccde.org/websurvey.
“Our county website must enable residents to engage with their government in new ways, such as self-service delivery tools like paying county bills online, finding the nearest county park and applying for a business license. The goal is to make your county government more honest, transparent and efficient,” said County Executive Meyer.
The survey will be available online through Wednesday, March 15th.
David Grimaldi led a thorough revamp of NCC website a few years ago. Is this ‘redo’ the best use of our tax-payer’s money to reinvent this wheel this quickly? I hope NCC Council will rein in any unnecessary spending by the Executive especially if it amounts to not much more than a ‘just because I can’ sound bite. Was Grimaldi’s work so bad as to justify this expense now? What was the expenditure for the recent revamp. What kind of dollars does Meyer expect to spend on this ‘fix’? You can ask him today at his facebook town hall at 4pm.
The “revamp” was a superficial change of the website. It only changed the color and layout. The links, structure, and departmental page setups are the same. Also, the search function, which is the largest drawback, did not change at all. This is a much needed change to help customers (constituents) access the services they need faster and easier. There is also hope that the county will move to the ability to pay for all things online.
If you want to speak about David Grimaldi and ‘the best use of our tax-payer’s money’ in the same sentence, I suggest you add the raiding of the Garstin Trust, then the subsequent back-filling of that trust with the county reserves to pay for his ill-conceived idea to fund a stock market in Wilmington.
It is usual for websites to refresh regularly — they should evolve to meet evolving needs. Why should the county be stuck with a website that never changes — that never wants to be of greater use to residents?
Being able to apply online for permits, pay fees, re-up certain licenses online would be a decent idea. The County could take an inventory of the actions that require a person to visit the office or put a stamp on an envelope and see which ones of those could be made secure and productive online actions. That’s just a start. Just because your pal Grimaldi did this once doesn’t mean that the website can’t get better. And that is the input that NCCo is looking for.
The county tech systems in general need a revamp. They have been patching things together for over a decade on equipment that is even older. It’s time move into the 21st Century. Meyer is the guy who can do this. Just because it is a large expense upfront does not mean it is bad. This type of expense pays tenfold in the long term, but also in the short term. Improved efficiency, less loss of data, less downtime, and easier access to services are immediate.