New township website offers email, text alerts
NEW HANOVER » A betterinformed community and more transparency into local government are the goals Township Manager Jaime Gwynn has for New Hanover’s new website.
You can check it out for yourself at http://newhanover-pa.org/
The website went live on Monday and that night, Gwynn had the opportunity to show it off during the township supervisors’ meeting.
“This is my third website, and I’ve learned from previous mistakes. I knew just how I wanted it to look,” Gwynn said after the meeting.
He laid out the site and “I think I logged 50 calls to the company that did the coding. I don’t think they like me very much anymore,” he joked.
The feature he is most proud of is the site’s ability to have residents sign up to receive emergency alerts, as well as other kinds of alerts — like for road repairs or special events.
The alerts can come via email or via text to your mobile phone.
And, in an effort to promote that feature, Gwynn has teamed up with local businesses along Swamp Pike to offer discounts to customers who can show they’ve signed up for alerts.
For example, those who show their signup to cashiers at Freed’s Super Market can get a 5-percent discount on their purchase; a free pretzel at Philly Pretzel Factory; a Wawa voucher or a gift raffle card from Complete Family Eye Care.
“This is an opportunity for the community as a whole,” Gwynn told the supervisors.
It’s also an opportunity for the community to get more informed, Gwynn said.
“The whole site is designed for ease of navigation to make it easy to find things like bill lists, tax and budget information, audits. There’s even a share tool, so you can send a link to someone else, and very soon we’ll introduce online bill pay for sewer bills,” he said.
Sandy Koza, the township’s traffic engineer who saw the site for the first time at Monday night’s meeting, took it out for a spin and exclaimed — “everything is so easy to find.”
The township has also taken on the herculean task of putting New Hanover’s many development projects on the website, but approved and in process. Given that New Hanover is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Montgomery County — this is no small thing.
“Ultimately, it saves time for the staff, because they don’t have to fish out the planning documents when someone comes in; and it makes things easier for residents to know what’s going on without having to come down to the township building,” said Gwynn.
But nothing stays static in the information age and Gwynn said he is looking for feedback from the residents, about what they like or don’t like on the site, on how it can be made even better.
You can reach him at via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the telephone at 610-323-1008. (By the way that information was super easy to find on the new website.)
This article first appeared as a post in The Digital Notebook blog.