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Port Orchard unveils its new Web site
The city of Port Orchard had a “soft launch” for its new Web site this month, adding features and consolidating functions in order to better communicate with the public.
“The new site is a nice representation of the city,” said IT Manager Vince Tucker. “As we grow, we expect the site will grow with us, and allow us to serve the citizens more thoroughly.”
The new site represents the first major upgrade since Port Orchard first went on line in 2003.
The Web site address, www.cityofportorchard.us, has unchanged from its previous version.
The site is streamlined from the past versions, with fewer scrolling actions required.
There are seven quick tabs across the top — for home, city, municipality, tourism, business, photos and contact.
There is a category for press releases, and a quick-link access to the most popular pages.
A kinetic calendar is also included, where visitors can click on a date and see all the scheduled events. If there is a meeting, they can select the agenda.
If the meeting is over, a link to its minutes will also be provided.
The site contains some interactive aspects, such as the ability conduct polls. At present, the poll question asks people to say what they like the most about Port Orchard.
In the future, this can be used to sample opinions about matters such as salary raises and annexation. Even if the polls aren’t secure or scientific, they will be able to take the community pulse on some issues.
One other area that could be expanded is the police forms. This section will begin with a survey, a vacation alert and a no-drugs boilerplate designed for use with a standard lease.
This will be expanded in the future.
This follows a trend set by other municipalities, such as Kitsap County, where government services are put online in order to provide convenience for residents and increase the efficiency of government workers. If someone can access forms after hours it will save them a trip to town.
In the case of the vacation alert, residents can inform the police of their departure dates, and they’ll keep an eye on the house.
The city put out a request for proposal earlier this year, and made a second effort to get a local firm involved. When none came forward it awarded the contract to Dreamscape Multimedia in Lansing, MI.
\Tucker said that Dreamscape provided ”a lot of bang for our buck” and included several special features that were not included in the $5,000 contract. It also has a robust feature set that will allow the city to incorporate new capabilities as needed.
“When we need to this site allows us to expand dramatically,” Tucker said.