On October 1st, 2008, a law went into effect mandating that all Connecticut towns post minutes of their town meetings to their we sites within 7 days. Due to budget and staffing constraints, some towns have pulled their web sites rather than comply with the ordinance.The Town of Wallingford has been hesitant to use town funds to update their web site with the minutes of town meetings, but they have not removed their web site, they are simply not complying with the law.
Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. Wallingford resident Jason Zandri did exactly that.
Zandri spent over 100 hours of his own time to develop a new web site, http://www.wallingford.us.com, to pick up where the official town web site, http://www.town.wallingford.ct.us, leaves off. While his site should not be confused with the official town site, he has loaded it with a lot of information not found on the town site, including the minutes of the town meetings, budget info and a list of state lawmakers’ postal and e-mail addresses.
It’s no secret that Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson has expressed reluctance to expand the use of the internet in the town hall, and questions the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the Internet in facilitating communications between the town’s departments and between the town and its residents. We think that’s a rather parochial attitude and is a disservice to the residents and employees of the town. Town government, in order to keep its citizens well informed, should utilize those services and technologies that are available for that purpose. As Zandri has pointed out, that can be done easily with a minimum of time and expense.
We applaud Jason for his initiative and creativity, and hope the town will follow his example and make necessary changes to properly update and maintain their web site. Until then, web sites like his (and ours) will continue to provide important and valuable information to our fellow residents.
Well done, Jason!