Looking for a job with the county? Or maybe some back- ground information on a county department? What's up with the Board of Supervisors? How about lodging a complaint with a particular department?
All of those things and many more just became easier. Stanislaus County launched its new Web site -- www.stancounty.com -- Saturday, hailing it as a new way to interact with local government.
The site includes a 24-hour "citizen relationship management" feature that allows residents to complain, compliment, ask a question or point out a problem. The information is sent directly to the department involved, said Marcia Cunningham, director of the county's Strategic Business Technology department. If a response isn't sent in a reasonable amount of time, the system bumps the information up to the next level in the department, Cunningham said.
An "MYTV" section of the Web site includes newscastlike videos on happenings in the county, interviews with department heads, monthly highlights and features on county services. An archive of televised Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission meetings are on the site, as is a schedule of upcoming meetings to be televised.
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The meetings can be watched in real-time, streaming video as well.
"We wanted more options -- video, audio, iPod downloads ... whatever level of services the customer wants," Cunningham said.
A newsroom page includes news releases, biographies of county officials and background material on different departments.
Most of the home pages have MapQuest links to help residents find various county offices.
Homeowners can pay their property taxes online in a secured area or look up properties in the assessment books if they have the parcel numbers.
Staff teams working on the Web design took laptop computers to Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto two weeks ago to let people try the site and offer suggestions, Cunningham said.
"There's a huge benefit in doing that, instead of waiting for the customer to come to us," she said.
The county will monitor page views as another method of getting feedback on the site, Cunningham said. If page views drop significantly, "we want to react to that," she said.
In September, the old Web site had 670,000 page hits from 33,000 unique visitors, according to county director of communications David Jones.
The most frequently visited sites included job listings, board agendas, the personnel manual, assessor map books and tax information.
Bee staff writer Tim Moran can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2349.