Josh discovers what it’s like to “get involved” in local politics 20 Oct 2005

11 comments Latest by Online casino btdino

Josh learned a few things about “getting involved.”

  1. Apparently the best way to start your involvement is to watch TV
  2. Next read up on the Mayor’s accomplishments and priorities. There is no list of failures.
  3. Join a board or commission. All right - some real involvement. Unfortunately, the link is broken (“And so is our city government”).

Anyone else have any positive/negative stories about local government and the web? I’ve got a positive one: I ordered some extra garbage cans from the City of Chicago site and they were delivered free of charge within a week. While a lot of the Chicago site is confusing, I do like their “I want to” sidebar with common actions.

11 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Dan Boland 20 Oct 05

Gah! I just went to the Chicago website and it looks like one of those placeholder sites when a URL isn’t owned by anyone yet.

I don’t know that this counts as local, but going to the Illinois DMV website is like a crash course in web hell.

Jamie 20 Oct 05

In order to get things done for your house in the City of Chicago simply dial 3-1-1 on the good ole telephone! Skip the browser.

James 20 Oct 05

I’ve been absolutely blown away by the ease and effectiveness of 311 in Dallas. They’ve either had the answers I’ve needed or given me a number to someone who did. Taken care of problems ranging from noise levels to trash cans.

Can’t speak to actually getting involved.

Darrel 20 Oct 05

The bad experiences tend to outweigh the good. But that’s true in the private sector as well as the public.

Drew 20 Oct 05

I had the dubious honor of designing my hometown’s website a few years ago. (pseudo self-link)

It was encouraging to me that the company I worked for (back then) was actually interested in trying to make a better website.
Considering our limited resources* I think it turned out decently.

But in our short research we couldn’t find a single city website that was either: a) attractive b) intelligent c) usable

but, it was a start … and I felt encouraged that things would get better …

until a local ad agency buddied up with a city council member, stole the website, glued on a bunch of hideous banners and removed some nice photos from the front.
And don’t get me started on the city logo …

I still have hope for the city itself, however.
Mayor Bozeman is kickin’ some ass.

*(An old, bitter developer with no interest in usability as you can see in the file names/session ID - coupled with me being a total n00b with CSS at the time and the city having little interest in really using technology to connect with citizens)

Adam C 20 Oct 05

Massachusetts has a great website for their Parks & Recreation department. You can search based on region and activity and download PDF trail maps. You can also book camp sites online through a partner commercial site. And is easy to remember.