Monday, March 3, 2008

City Clerk Updates Web Site

For those of you who might regularly try and navigate the city's web site, I'm sure you're as frustrated as I am at times. As someone whose been writing HTML code since the late 1980s and has been webmaster for over a dozen sites and helped to create, I have a pretty good understanding of what it take to do a web site. And Pomona's has been just plain bad.

However, I saw a notice today on the Foothill Cities blog that the city had joined the ranks of those who posted council minutes. I immediately had to check it out for myself. What I found was that the City Clerk page has been completely reworked and will be including a lot of great additions. Among those are: Minutes, Agendas, Legal notices (no longer have to pour over them in the classified section of the DB to find the few regarding Pomona), winners of bids, election information, city codes (which have been there but hidden), public records, campaign statements, statement of economic interest filings, city claims forms, and information on the city's commissions, along with the form for applying for a commission seat.

I immediately contacted Maria Macias, our very professional city clerk (I had wanted to let her know what a great idea I thought it was that she had to have high school students working at the polls on election day) and let her know that I thought the changes to the web site were terrific and hoped that it might have an effect on other departments web offerings. She indicated that in addition to the agendas, that it is her intent to also post complete meeting packets as well (this will be a boon to those of us who try and read them 15 minutes before the meeting in the lobby).

She also apologized that the agenda for tonight's meeting didn't get posted, but it is a victim of the migration to her new page. She then forwarded the agenda to me via email (Thank you!).

This is a great start. I had been asked by Publius of The Foothill Cities blog to write up a critique of Pomona's web site which I'm still planning to do (don't worry Publius, it's coming). Again, kudos to Marie Macias for making communication with our city a little easier.


Ed said...

"Presently, the Minutes are not accessible online. Our Technology Department is currently working on making them available in the upcoming months. We don't have an exact date yet as they are still working on getting the system up and running. Thank you for your inquiry and sorry we couldn't be more specific. City Clerk's Office" 1/24/08

Oh thank heaven, I was sooooo tired of getting these responses. I received almost the same response a year ago.

Let's give all the credit to the blogs, since you'd have to read them just to disagree.

John Clifford said...


While I agree that the blogs probably had a LOT to do with it, I also think that it's a reflection on the changes happening at City Hall. I don't believe that it would be happening yet without the changes in city management leadership.

My take is that Marie, the city clerk, now has the ability to actually get some of the things done.

Ed said...

I was only kidding, but if it provided a useful transition for your analysis then I'm glad I could help.

Since I've never met, nor spoke, to Marie Macias, has she indicated in communications to you that other levels of city management were actively preventing her posting the agendas, minutes, etc?

John Clifford said...

Oh my gosh!!

She never indicated directly that she was kept from doing anything. That's MY take on things. Mostly based on several departments that have seemed to have emerged since the change in senior management. No one in the city has ever said that they were kept from doing anything, nor would I expect that they would.

Ed said...


I would be surprised as well, which given your defense (perhaps justified) of the city clerk, is why I asked. With Ms. Lowry now taking the helm, hopefully we can continue to see the city change for the better.

I'm inclined to think that the city employees have been comfortable living up to the expectations of the city manager, rather than the situation of not having the "ability to actually get some of the things done." But as only a five year resident, I could be completely off-base. Time will tell, I guess.