Berlin Council Wants To See Website Improvements

BERLIN – The Berlin town website came in for some criticism from Mayor and Council members this week during the Monday night meeting.

“I really think we need to do a better job on dates on the website,” Council member Paula Lynch said during council comments. “Like the meeting tonight, it’s still up there. It’s not updated.”

The Berlin Mayor and Council meeting originally scheduled for July 14 was postponed until July 21 for lack of a quorum. The change in meeting date was not reflected on the Berlin website.

Meeting agendas have also not been made available on the website recently.

Computer and software problems have prevented the updates, said interim Mayor Gee Williams.

“There’s a lot of old information up there,” Lynch said. “If it’s not right, it’s not worth having.”

“Communication is a challenge in every respect, and that’s just one of them,” Williams said.

Staffer Mary Bohlen, who handles the town website in addition to several other duties, is adding different, less complicated software to the system to make updating the website easier, according to Williams. The Berlin website issues are no reflection on Bohlen, Williams said.

“We might want to consider a significant upgrade of the website,” Williams said during the discussion Monday night.

Major changes are needed to the Berlin website, said Williams, a marketing and communications professional, adding that any new site should be created and maintained by a professional web company.         

The town must figure out what it wants from the website and create a budget for the project for the next fiscal year.

“It shouldn’t be beyond our means at all,” said Williams. 

“Put it in the to-do pile,” Lynch said.

Meanwhile, the town will rely on in-house upgrades as much as possible.

Citizen Sue Beaman asked whether changes to the town code were added to the website, which offers a copy of the town laws.

“It’s one of the more tedious things we have to do,” said Berlin Administrative Director Linda Bambary. “She has to type it.”

Bohlen gets to those changes in time, Bambary said.

“There is the disclaimer, that code changes could have occurred,” said Bambary.

“It’s just archaic compared to what we should be able to do,” said Williams.