LYONS – Wayne County Administrator Rick House has said his goal is accessible and transparent government, and one of the best ways to achieve this is through his website.
That’s why he’s happy with the county’s revamped website, web.co.wayne.ny.us, which he says is designed to provide residents with as much information as possible about how government works in a user-friendly platform.
He is also fortunate that the county was able to do so at relatively minimal cost, thanks to the talent of staff in its IT department, headed by director Matt Ury.
âWe are very lucky,â House said.
The website went live without much fanfare in August, but it took almost a year to build.
The need for the upgrade initially started due to security, Ury said, noting that government websites – as well as private companies – were hacked, with bad guys penetrating deep into agency systems, where they had access to what was supposed to be secure. The data.
Given the need for increased security, officials felt that an upgrade to the look and organization of the county’s website was also necessary, he said.
âIt was time for a refresh, anyway,â Ury added.
A small committee was formed to discuss the website redesign, with a six month project timeline.
In December 2020, the county hired Civic Plus, a company that Ury says works specifically with government agencies and has 4,000 clients nationwide. Among his clients – the neighboring county of Ontario, which shares a similar look with Wayne’s.
âIt’s (security) their specialty,â Ury said. âThey keep websites secure. Safety is our top priority.
County data security has been improved by moving the website to a cloud system hosted by Civic Plus and disconnecting it from county servers, he said.
The county paid Civic Plus nearly $ 39,000 for the upgrade and has an annual contract of $ 7,567.
Ury said Civic Plus provided a number of looks for the county, but Wayne saved money by doing much of the design in-house, thanks to the talents of IT member Matt Burghdorf, a computer programmer. senior.
âHe was the guy in charge of the project,â Ury said. “Due to Matt’s expertise as a programmer, he was able to do a lot of things that they (Civic Plus) would normally do.”
Much work has gone into moving the hordes of county information to the new site, Ury noted.
âThe consultant was shocked at the amount of content there was,â he said. âThis allowed us to restructure this data. “
For example, items such as supervisory board and related committee agendas and meeting minutes are easier to access and can also be downloaded.
The website committee’s goal was not just to meet the government’s minimum online accessibility requirements, but to exceed them, Ury explained.
“The goal was to create more engagement” between the public and the county government, he said, noting that the new site also complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act regarding accessibility. for the visually and hearing impaired. It can also be converted to Spanish and many other languages.
âThe cap (for the website) is really high,â Ury said. âWe want to involve the public as much as possible. The supervisors were very supportive from the start.