Every interaction between a community member and a local government is an opportunity to create a positive civic experience. After putting the project of creating a new Mountain View website out to bid, and reviewing three bids in early 2022, the Mountain View Town Council will be unveiling a new website during the first quarter of 2023.
The new website, designed by CivicPlus, LLC, will be located at the same URLs (www.tomv.org and www.townofmountainviewcolorado.org) but will have a fresh, bright design and several helpful features making it easier for residents and property owners to search code, receive announcements, and complete necessary forms such as permit applications and vacation check requests to name a few.
CivicPlus articulates their mission as “helping make local governments work better.” Their templates are purported to be “personalized, frictionless, and expedited.”
Photographs by local designer Ruth Baranowski add a personal touch, and both Mayor Emilie Mitcham and Town Clerk Margy Greer have found that the new design and layout feel intuitive and easy to use, as they have been working to help migrate existing content to the new site and make design choices.
Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Bailey, who was a primary person helping with the prior website, has also helped with the design, especially contributing useful feedback regarding calendar functions and banner announcements that are needed when news is sudden and urgent (such as a snow day or an emergency alert.)
One preferred feature of the CivicPlus websites is that they can be slowly customized to become more complex over time with new, added features as town staff become familiar with using the technology. Initially, the website will be basic and straight-forward, simply providing similar end-user information as the prior website. But as staff training and comfort levels increase, the town will add elements such as email notification lists, social media integration, and online submittable forms.
Email notification lists allow community members to sign up to receive their town communication digitally rather than via paper flyers. The Town can create any number of notice classifications that have different purposes (such as “Mayor’s Letters,” “Event Invitations,” “Town Council Meeting Announcements and Minutes”) and community members can choose to receive those notices digitally as opposed to paper or USPS mail.
Security and affordability were also primary elements town council considered when making decisions about the website.
As with most new technological efforts, Mayor Mitcham anticipates that there will be a few growing pains to work through after the unveiling of the new site, as community members start to use the new features.
Mayor Mitcham states: “I’ve been hoping to improve the town’s website for years now, and feel really excited to be so close to sharing our progress with the community. It’s going to be an improvement in many ways, and I hope if there are any little kinks along the way, residents will bear with us and help us work through them.”
Residents, business owners, property owners and other stakeholders should feel encouraged to contact her with feedback, states Mitcham: “Positive or negative, everyone’s input will help us get where we need to go!”