Kendall pushing for upgrade to county website
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org January 7, 2013 2:42PM
Updated: February 9, 2013 6:07AM
YORKVILLE — Kendall County Board members will look at making the county’s website more useful.
Board member Scott Gryder said while the website has improved, it still needs to include more information, and be easier for people to use.
“I’d like to see more on there,” he said. “The website is really where everyone gets their information now.”
Gryder, who was among five new board members elected in November, said last year, when the Illinois Policy Institute used a 10-point checklist to study county websites throughout Illinois, “Kendall County did not pass the test.”
In a second test after Kendall officials made some changes to the site, they “doubled the score,” Gryder said. But it is not enough, he said.
He suggested the county include:
All contact information for elected and administrative officials. While that information is available for elected officials now, a lot of it is not available for administrative officials, Gryder said.
Expenditures, bills, yearly reports and the county checkbook. At this time, none of this information is on the website.
Salaries and benefits of employees. Gryder said he understands this is a controversial area, but public employee benefits and salaries are public information, are available to someone asking for the information at the county building, and already are on such websites as openthebooks.com.
A listing of all taxes and fees.
“There are a lot of things we’ve done and done well,” Gryder said. “But I think there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Board member Matt Prochaska said he would like to see the site include a listing of all appointed officials, such as those serving on the zoning board of appeals and fire districts.
The suggestion from the two board members met with agreement from fellow board members. Board Chairman John Shaw said the county will look at the website, and suggested there might even be an ad hoc committee to study it.
“The transparency issue is a big deal,” said board member Amy Cesich. “When we were out there campaigning, it was obvious people want to know.”
Shaw added, though, that there will be a balancing act between how much the county can spend and how much it can do to the website.
The same Illinois Policy Institute report that flunked Kendall County gave its highest marks to Kane County. But Kane spent money to hire an outside consultant to update its website.
Kendall officials will be looking at changes in its committee structure and meeting times at the end of February, and Shaw suggested that would be a good time to look at changing the website.