Small-Town First Selectmen Want Websi...

Small-Town First Selectmen Want Website Law Repealed

There are 25 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Feb 3, 2009, titled Small-Town First Selectmen Want Website Law Repealed. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Elected officials representing some of the small towns that shut down their websites in October rather than risk non-compliance with a new state law requiring them to post meeting minutes and agendas online ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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Nutmeg

Plano, TX

#1 Feb 3, 2009
Small town people - suggest you update your computer skills. Try creating computer files with the requisite data. Then create a blog to display the computerized information. One step at a time. You can do it yourselves. No need to spend $5000-$15000.

But maybe some of your political opponents can do it first though.
Charles Washington Sr

New Hartford, CT

#2 Feb 3, 2009
These guys need to find a 7-year-old to show them how to upload a file to the web.

Are politicians even more doltish than we previously thought? Say it ain't so.

Since: Jul 08

Portland

#3 Feb 3, 2009
If a town has a website it should be maintained at regular intervals, what’s the point of a website if it doesn’t have current information on it? If towns update their sites once a week it isn’t a huge undertaking to post meeting minutes. Taking down websites sure as hell isn’t helping the residents of the town any and probably increases the workload of the town employees now having to deal with things that could easily be done online.
Disconnected

North Haven, CT

#4 Feb 4, 2009
I agree with the first post, if it is too much of a bother maybe they have been in office to long. During the election year, we are bombarded with e-mails, blogs & websites that tell us about each candidate and their opponent’s weaknesses. The minutes are certainly typed on a computer and up-loading them should be simple. As important as these meeting minutes are, the agenda is equally important. In everyone busy life lets be able to read the upcoming business and then decide if we want to attend. What are they hiding?
CzaReekie

Salem, OR

#5 Feb 4, 2009
In Portland, the minutes are a joke - they don't match with what actually takes place at the meeting.

This is yet another way for the towns to hide behind the "we can't afford it!" battle cry. They can afford it - easily. Have volunteers utilize a town laptop for each meeting and take notes that way. Better yet, have the meetings tape recorded and then transcribed by an intern from the high school - what does that cost?

Since: Jul 08

Portland

#6 Feb 4, 2009
CzaReekie wrote:
In Portland, the minutes are a joke - they don't match with what actually takes place at the meeting.
This is yet another way for the towns to hide behind the "we can't afford it!" battle cry. They can afford it - easily. Have volunteers utilize a town laptop for each meeting and take notes that way. Better yet, have the meetings tape recorded and then transcribed by an intern from the high school - what does that cost?
If it requires more work by union employees that isnt specifically outlined in their contract it wont get done...like you said a highschool kid could do this, its not a hardship by any means if the town already has a website.
CzaReekie

Salem, OR

#7 Feb 4, 2009
Chris1982 wrote:
<quoted text>
If it requires more work by union employees that isnt specifically outlined in their contract it wont get done...like you said a highschool kid could do this, its not a hardship by any means if the town already has a website.
Let's not forget if there is there is any chance of accountability, then it's a big no go for the BOS, BOE, and other inhabitants of the ivory tower known as Town Hall.

The more Susie and the banshees don't have to tell us, the happier they are.
knowitall

West Hartford, CT

#8 Feb 4, 2009
unfortunately with the continuing reduction of newspapers who even cover these meetings, this is the ONLY way for residents to get ANY information about what their elected officials are doing short ot attending each and every meeting...it should be a top priority...it gives elected officials an excuse to keep the public's business private
Nellie

United States

#9 Feb 4, 2009
Yes the minutes & agendas should be made available to the public asap. I think the point being missed is the double requirement to post the info on the website that is a burden when the minutes are already required by FOI law to be filed in the Town/City Clerk's office for the public to view & receive copies. What happens if the website is down because of power failure or a virus, etc.(because technology is so reliable)? Is the town/city in violoation because they can't post? Good luck getting people to volunteer their time and effort to attend a meeting and take minutes - you yourselves don't bother attending.
CzaReekie wrote:
<quoted text>
Let's not forget if there is there is any chance of accountability, then it's a big no go for the BOS, BOE, and other inhabitants of the ivory tower known as Town Hall.
The more Susie and the banshees don't have to tell us, the happier they are.
CzaReekie

Salem, OR

#10 Feb 4, 2009
Nellie wrote:
Yes the minutes & agendas should be made available to the public asap. I think the point being missed is the double requirement to post the info on the website that is a burden when the minutes are already required by FOI law to be filed in the Town/City Clerk's office for the public to view & receive copies. What happens if the website is down because of power failure or a virus, etc.(because technology is so reliable)? Is the town/city in violoation because they can't post? Good luck getting people to volunteer their time and effort to attend a meeting and take minutes - you yourselves don't bother attending.
<quoted text>
Sorry to burst your bubble, Nellie dear, but I do go to meetings.

And bubble burster number 2 -- the web is very reliable. If the website is down due to a virus or alien attack, a simple message can be provided as well as the issue being documented. In the event an FOI request is made regarding the outage, the town could easily provide copies of their documentation on the outage (how long did it last, impact, etc...)

This isn't brain surgery - it's a simple matter of transparency.

Here's a thought - take the minutes and scan them - what's that take - all of 30 seconds? Then you post the scanned image. Again - less than an hour worth of work.

Since: Jul 08

Portland

#11 Feb 4, 2009
Nellie wrote:
Yes the minutes & agendas should be made available to the public asap. I think the point being missed is the double requirement to post the info on the website that is a burden when the minutes are already required by FOI law to be filed in the Town/City Clerk's office for the public to view & receive copies. What happens if the website is down because of power failure or a virus, etc.(because technology is so reliable)? Is the town/city in violoation because they can't post? Good luck getting people to volunteer their time and effort to attend a meeting and take minutes - you yourselves don't bother attending.
<quoted text>
You are making this much more difficult than it really is. The actual real work is the typing of the minutes which has to be done whether its filed in a filing cabinet or on a website. Obviously if the website is down the town is not in violation, don’t try to over think this…its simple. It doesn’t matter if no one attends the meeting the town is REQUIRED to have minutes taken so either a volunteer or a paid employee needs to be there either way.
you go jodi

Manchester, CT

#12 Feb 5, 2009
i vote for don denly to do it!
x-portland resident

Rocky Hill, CT

#13 Feb 8, 2009
Well you pay all Dave Kuzminki and company enough money to run the technial deptarment.This would be a great job for him and his coworkers to due to earn thier pay.
Nutmeg

Plano, TX

#14 Feb 8, 2009
A closer look at some larger Connecticut towns reveals they are in non-complicance to the minutes and agenda posting law.

Their actions smack of arrogance and contempt.
Nope

Pembroke, MA

#15 Feb 17, 2009
This underscores the fact that young people (who understand what is now very common technical skills such as this) are not involved in small-town local government in CT. Taxpayers are busy working all day- the web is the best medium for timely posting of town governance information.

For a freelance web designer to upload documents to a simple web site after someone types up even a terrible transcript of meeting notes/proceedings would be an hour a week. For the town to expend time (and consequently money) in fighting this really does not look very progressive at all.

If they seek some professional advice- just even one hour of consulting time to a local web designer- they would have this taken care of and cheap.

This kind of clinging to old ways reinforces the reasons why young people move out of CT.
Tyler Durden

New London, CT

#16 Feb 18, 2009
Can't they just buy a scanner at wal-mart for $30-40 and post PDF's if they're too "busy" to do it again???

Take a total of 5-10 minutes at MOST...
CzaReekie

Salem, OR

#17 Feb 19, 2009
Tyler Durden wrote:
Can't they just buy a scanner at wal-mart for $30-40 and post PDF's if they're too "busy" to do it again???
Take a total of 5-10 minutes at MOST...
Because that would mean people would find out what is going on in Portland, and that's the last thing the Susie and her banshees want.
Tyler Durden

New London, CT

#18 Feb 19, 2009
I just saw one ion a Tigerdirect catalog that I got in the mail yesterday that scans directly INTO pdf format...

Since: Jul 08

Portland

#19 Feb 19, 2009
Tyler Durden wrote:
Can't they just buy a scanner at wal-mart for $30-40 and post PDF's if they're too "busy" to do it again???
Take a total of 5-10 minutes at MOST...
dont even need a scanner! thats what makes this even easier, just download a simple program and when you hit print you select PDF and seconds later you have a pdf! such a simple process that towns are over complicating because they are lazy
CzaReekie

Salem, OR

#20 Feb 19, 2009
Chris1982 wrote:
<quoted text>
dont even need a scanner! thats what makes this even easier, just download a simple program and when you hit print you select PDF and seconds later you have a pdf! such a simple process that towns are over complicating because they are lazy
Lazy or possibly deceptive?

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