The World Wide Web, the Internet, cyberspace—accomplishing much of anything in our daily lives requires us connecting remotely with someone or something through a computer or other device. Recognizing that their online presence was in need of an update, Lapeer County officials have given the okay to redesign their website with a hoped for re-launch in the spring.
The current lapeercountyweb.org already features a lot of important information, forms and more but some of it is in need of modernizing and it can be challenging to quickly find what you might need.
As the county’s administrator Quentin Bishop points out, more efficiency can be gained in having a well-crafted website. As taxpayers expect municipalities to operate in a cost-effective manner, quality websites are a tool that can help make that a reality.
Additionally, government websites can also be sources of information residents don’t know even existed. For instance, Lapeer County’s current website includes projected general fund budgets and debt service information. Unless a users stumbles across these online links, they might not think to look or request such documents.
It’s great that the county has continued its practice of recording and airing county commission meetings. It was something they started during the pandemic and haven’t abandoned. That’s good considering the meetings are held on weekday mornings when the majority of residents wouldn’t likely be able to attend in person due to work and other obligations.
Of course, the usefulness of such tools doesn’t mean much if residents don’t have a reliable way to access them and to that end the county is also in the early stages of undertaking a broadband feasibility study. Internet access with sufficient bandwidth remains a challenge for many in the area.
In their attempts to help parents connect with important at-home resources, Imlay City Schools introduced the Michigan Learning Channel through a free virtual event held earlier this month. The Learning Channel offers their programming through multiple means, including broadcast television. District officials felt it was important to highlight that fact considering parent surveys indicate local families don’t always have the capability to download videos or documents or log into live meetings—all online activities now common in the education and business worlds.
It’s good to see local leaders addressing efficiency and accessibility. Plenty of in-person services and learning opportunities still exist in Lapeer County, but virtual tools deserve to be invested in too.