Saugus breeders seek friendlier website

Several elected officials plead for a more user-friendly municipal website for the benefit of residents.

At a March 9 meeting to discuss the parameters of City Manager Scott Crabtree’s upcoming performance review, coach Corinne Riley mentioned updating the city’s website as one of her main goals.

The city’s website should be easy to follow and provide valuable information to the public, Riley said. She lamented that the website is outdated and needs to be updated.

When discussing the fiscal year 2023 budget, Riley raised the possibility of bringing in a part-time employee to oversee the city’s website.

Coach Jeff Cicolini agreed that the City’s website is not as user-friendly as it could be.

Technology is the way of the world, Cicolini said, pointing out that many residents — especially younger ones — prefer to conduct city-related business online rather than stopping by city hall.

Cicolini said the main page of the city’s website lists a lot of useful information. But much of the content from various departments and councils/committees on the webpage is not up-to-date enough, he claimed.

The problem, Cicolini said, is that these councils and committees simply don’t have the bandwidth to keep the website up to date when needed.

Ensuring more relevant information is easily accessible on the city’s website would be a valuable resource for the community, Cicolini said.

“I think a lot of people don’t trust the website,” Cicolini said.

Crabtree explained that each city department is responsible for updating its parts of the website.

Selectman Debra Panetta asked if the city’s IT person could work on updating the website.

Crabtree replied that it was not the IT “fort” who rather dealt with network issues.

Riley also suggested the city might want to have a presence on social media sites such as Facebook.

Of the public administration courses he’s taken, Crabtree said Saugus is considered a “business” community and the recommendation is that the administration doesn’t have a Facebook presence.

“It becomes a negative grind,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree told council members he would look into what resources could be used to help with the city’s website.

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