The Recorder – New Town in the Future of Warwick website




WARWICK – For 14 years, Ed Lemon pulled the strings of the city’s website, making sure that meeting agendas and minutes were posted and updated the pages of the various city councils. He even taught himself how to code to make the website possible.

But now, at 81, the retired teacher is looking to shed his role as the city’s webmaster.

“I just don’t have the energy or the ability,” Lemon said, noting growing eyesight issues. “I was very happy to have worked for the city for the past 14 years, but now is also the time for me to go.

With this change comes a new website which will be operated using WordPress, a content management system or CMS, which allows multiple contributors to create, edit and publish to the web, in relation to all messages routed through Lemon as has been the tradition. The plan, he said, is for Kelly Buchanan, another Warwick resident who has a full-time job as a website manager, to oversee the new site.

“I think it will definitely be an improvement,” Lemon said of the work in progress website which can be accessed at town.warwick.ma.us. The website from which the town is moving away can be found at warwickma.org.

The new website is only in its early stages, Lemon said, with pages for the Warwick Free Public Library, Planning Board, Education Committee and Broadband Committee now in place. Some meeting records are available for viewing. He said a completion schedule was “on hold”.

The old webpage, which is not updated regularly, was created by Lemon in 2007. Although he did not receive formal coding education, he learned HTML and CSS on his own, noting that he has a son and daughter-in-law who are “computer scientists,” he might turn to for advice.

Although Lemon said he considered using WordPress to start the website in 2007, the platform wasn’t quite what the city was looking for at the time. Instead, the hard-coded website was operated using a GoDaddy server, which Lemon says costs between $ 150 and $ 200 per year.

As a webmaster, Lemon said he typically spent between six and 10 hours per week posting to the website on behalf of the various city councils, a task that became more difficult and often longer as he got older. . Even on vacation, he aimed to set aside time for web posting.

“Warwick is somewhat proud to be a vibrant city. We do everything ourselves and mostly with volunteers, ”he said, adding that few people have the availability or know-how to participate in tasks such as managing the website. “We’re a small town with a small population, and there aren’t many people who are A) ready to do it and B) able to do it. ”

Switching to a content management system like WordPress, however, would allow chairs of various committees to post their own minutes or agendas. Since Buchanan herself has a full-time job with little time to devote to the Warwick website, Lemon said this would help distribute the workload more evenly.

“It would of course be a great relief,” he said. “As the city became more and more reliant on the Internet, the amount of material that came in daily was just too much. I was overwhelmed. ”

Still, Lemon noted that, for now at least, he would continue to operate the Warwick Historical Society website at history.town.warwick.ma.us until a replacement can be found. Anyone interested in taking on this role can contact Lemon at 978-544-7463.

Contact Shelby Ashline at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or [email protected]



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