As our ability to communicate through technology continues to grow, so does the ability of government to connect with its constituents and key stakeholders. Every year, tens of thousands of people visit our town website, irondequoit.org, for a wide variety of reasons.
We have always prided ourselves here at town hall on providing residents with access to as much information about their government as possible. We are one of only a few towns in the region that makes available to the public the same information that our board members have access to. On our website, you can now access virtually every form and application necessary for any number of things requiring town approval.
In an effort to continue to increase residents’ ability to access our town government, without having to physically come to town hall, we are engaging in an update to our town’s website — the first in several years. Our goal is to make irondequoit.org more accessible to those with disabilities and provide an easy online portal to the most critical information that our residents, business owners and visitors want and need.
Since the last update in 2013, the number of users who access the website through mobile devices has grown exponentially. Seventy-seven percent of Americans own a smartphone, up from just 35 percent in 2011. Some estimates project that upwards of 50 percent of all website visits now are done on smartphones or tablets. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to assure that our website is accessible through all platforms.
The town of Irondequoit continuously stands out for its strong social media presence, across all departments. We receive more traffic on social media than any other local town and, because of that, we will continue to look for ways to integrate our social media platforms into the town website.
However, we can’t do this alone. We are seeking input from residents and other stakeholders about how the town’s website can best meet the needs of the community. We have posted an online survey and welcome your feedback to help us understand how the community currently uses the website and what users would like to see in the redesigned website. This can be accessed at surveymonkey.com through March 1.
Shifting gears, the town board was happy to recognize Scott Donahue with our Staff Spotlight Award at our February workshop meeting. Scott serves as the town’s animal control officer and works very hard to be responsive to the needs of our residents. He also has a lot of great stories from the field. Congratulations, Scott, and thank you for your service to the community.