website options debated
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[October 17, 2008]
At this week's city council
meeting, new Alderman Dean Henrichsmeyer asked if the city's website
could be discussed next week. His request sparked an on-the-spot
round-table discussion illuminating differing opinions on the
Henrichsmeyer recalled that it had been 3 1/2 months since the
city received an offer to use a website created for the city by
former resident Debra Seaman. Seaman is a professional Web designer.
Website chairman Wanda Lee Rohlfs said that a site for the city is
being worked on internally and could be done soon.
suggested that Seaman's site could be used until the internal site
is done; it would be better than what is up now.
There were several questions on interpreting Seaman's offer and
future costs. It was agreed that Seaman offered the site free of
charge for three months. After that time she would charge an hourly
rate for changes. She also wanted her name and business kept
credited on the site.
Mayor Davis-Kavelman, Alderwoman Kathy Horn and others had
concerns about the offer made as having "hidden costs." They were
not certain that it would be what was best for the city.
The mayor was also concerned about advertising that Seaman wanted
kept on the site.
Rohlfs offered that what she wanted to do would be to call Seaman
and talk to her personally to sort out the future costs and other
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Alderman Jeff Hoinacki and several other aldermen agreed with
Henrichsmeyer, saying that the current site is "an embarrassment"
and that websites today are a reflection of a community's progress.
Their comments included that websites are a gateway into a community
and often provide the first impression that someone gets of the
Hoinacki suggested that the city should move forward, accept the
offered professional website now, and when the internal site is
ready, compare the two and chose one.
Rohlfs wanted to wait for the site being designed internally,
which could be ready in a couple of weeks, rather than "flip-flop"
with too many changes.
Busby made it clear that he did not approve of taking six months
to discuss the website and also how long it has taken to get new
sign and billboard ordinances completed.
The website committee scheduled a special meeting to discuss the
matter further on Friday (today) at 11 a.m.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]