Archive for Wednesday, January 31, 2007

County expands Web site offerings

January 31, 2007

Leavenworth County commissioners are testing the waters of the World Wide Web, but they aren't diving in head-first by any means.

At their meeting Thursday, Jan. 26, commissioners unanimously decided to post their weekly agendas and minutes in portable document format (pdf) to the county's Web site, Working drafts of minutes will be available to department heads on the county's Intranet, while approved minutes will be posted to the public Web site.

But when presented the opportunity to do a test run with streaming audio of their meetings, Commissioners Clyde Graeber and Dean Oroke balked.

Commission Chairman J.C. Tellefson spurred discussion of the county Web site improvements. He asked the county's information services director, Larry Malbrough, to show commissioners what the county was doing, what other counties were doing and how the county could expand its Web offerings.

"I'm trying to make government as transparent as it can be," Tellefson said.

Graeber countered that county government already operated at a high level of transparency, noting the commission's weekly agenda is disseminated widely and that anyone can walk into a commission meeting to see government in action.

Malbrough showed streaming video of the Sedgwick County Commission on that county's Web site and audio streaming of the Shawnee County Commission on its Web site. When he showed how Leavenworth County's Web site could easily stream audio of commission meetings, Graeber was not impressed.

"If I could drink a double scotch and soda, I could listen to that," he said.

Malbrough indicated posting the weekly agenda would take place immediately; a target date of Feb. 15 was made for posting of approved minutes to the Web.

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