Berlin Website Transition To New Page ‘A Real Mess’

BERLIN –  Elected officials expressed concern regarding ongoing problems with the town’s website this week.

At a meeting of the Berlin Town Council on Monday, officials voiced frustration with the problems that have been plaguing the town’s website in recent weeks. The site hasn’t worked since the town attempted to debut a new website layout in August.

“It seems like the transition turned into a real mess and I don’t know why,” Administrative Services Director Mary Bohlen said.

Town staff have not been able to update the website at all in recent weeks, not even to upload meeting agendas or press releases. Bohlen said the contractor was working on the problem, which seemed to arise when the town tried to launch its new website design.

Resident Marie Velong said she hoped the new website would feature a more organized layout of council meeting agendas and minutes.

“It’s confusing as to the way they have the minutes set up,” she said.

Bohlen said that would be addressed with the new design. She added that Monday’s agenda was not on the website because staff hadn’t been able to load it.

“We can’t upload anything right now,” Town Clerk Kelsey Jensen said. “We can’t even log in.”

She said that the town had sent out the agenda via email and had it posted on the public access channel. Councilman Zack Tyndall asked staff to advise the public via Facebook that the municipality was experiencing technical difficulties with its website and to use the platform to share meeting agendas.

“It’s not the best medium but at least people can see it,” he said.

Mayor Gee Williams asked Bohlen to provide an update on the situation at the next council meeting. Councilman Dean Burrell suggested finding a new vendor to handle the work.

“We’d have to bid it out which is a considerably longer process,” Bohlen said. “I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m just saying we are really at a standstill right now.”

Burrell said that if the current contractor couldn’t get the job done the town should hire someone who could.

“Sometimes you just have to cut your losses,” he said. “To have this going on this long, from an individual that we are paying, I think that is unacceptable.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.