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frymasterspeck

City of Pawtucket Website http://pawtucketri.com

22 posts in this topic

There's an interesting thread in The Bucket Forum discussion that's gotten pretty far off topic, so I thought I'd give us a right, proper place to kick the crap out of, er, discuss The City's website. (Insert all barfing/rolling on the floor in laughter emoticons here.)

Something tells me that we Bucket posters are not exactly a representative sampling of society in terms of our abilities with markup language. We're the critical pros.

Most all of the websites I've built are used heavily -- sometimes most heavily -- by the client organizations in lieu of an intranet. I'm gonna take a flyer and suggest that there is no municipal intranet in Pawtucket. Systems in City Hall seem to be stand-alone databases like in the Assessors office. When I changed my building's zoning use from commercial to residential, it took many months for the information to be propagated in the tax billing system.

This board has exaclty one user from City Hall, Herbs. It is super-obvious that nobody inside City Hall uses the website for working purposes. My take away: because they're not heavy systems users, City workers don't know what their missing. That's why THEY'RE not the ones demanding improvement.

We all know that good systems mean efficient organizations. We all (at least I hope most of you) are paying the price for a municipality mired in Legacy-land. It's not a question of if The City will undertake a massive systems re-engineering, but when and how.

Let's do ourselves a favor and get out in front. Web 2.0 technology could let The City leap orders of magnitude in a very short timeframe. I read about and requested info from user sjwillis in a discussion of planning wikis. The implication is that there is an RI state wiki. (No reply. If anybody knows this user, please try to get their attention.)

I hope that, as the Topic Description says, Herbs will get some more input from The City. If you want to know more about anything (like what a wiki is), please ask.

My bottom line: Municipal Wiki

--> City support, but limited/minimal

--> City retirees and knowledgable others to manage content development

--> Wiki-style community does the heavy liftying (Pawtucket is 70k+)

--> Tangible useful results almost immediately

--> Very low cost

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First of all, I hate that sidebar menu of options. It's too narrow and is ugly.

Second, why are there virtually no planning documents posted in the planning department section? And the little tiny line that has the CDBG, HOME, etc. links is easily missed, leaving basically NOTHING for anybody to look at in the planning section.

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The website is just plain ugly.

The City is very intent on marketing itself as an "Arts" destination, but its website, which is a prime tool for outsiders to get information, is pretty terrible.

PADS put together a fantastic website, with zero money, that much more effectively conveys what Pawtucket is all about.

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PADS put together a fantastic website, with zero money, that much more effectively conveys what Pawtucket is all about.

I love the PADS website. With the amount of open source tools available out there, it's really rather inexcusable.

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For me, the look is less important than the interface, architecture and content. In reverse order. What's most appalling to me about this site is the undeniable lack-of-caring that this site communicates.

Item: the photo of the mayor on the homepage looks squashed. I mean, it's the frickin' mayor's photo on the homepage!

Item: there is nothing on the city calendar, even though the dates were updated to 2006. That's an especially nice touch.

Item: there is nothing at the city council link, but there is content for the Hall of Fame. Again, this speaks to priorities

Item: of the five potential content sections of the Arts area, only one is populated: Grants.

Item (and this reinforces the item above): there's no content for the bleeding ARTS FESTIVAL! Event #1 people!

Item: this ridiculous text on the homepage --

The City of Pawtucket is proud to announce the launch of it's new web site. The site is completely redesigned to enhance the visitor experience. The main goal of the new web site it to provide valuable information to Pawtucket residents and businesses in the most efficient manner possible. Of course, the City's web site will always be a work in progress, we will be constantly updating and revising this site.

I tell my clients this: Your website tells your customers more about you than you may want. Websites invariably and accurately communicate the core values of their publishers.

This site says: We don't care.

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I love the PADS website. With the amount of open source tools available out there, it's really rather inexcusable.

The PADS website is all CSS and very Euro (Simple and not a lot of beels and wistles). The pawtucket site is just god awful.

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Hey Guys

Anyone who does not like the web site needs to send a letter to the Mayor Doyle.

The Address is

Pawtucket City Hal

137 Roosevelt Avenue 02860

Mayor's Office - Room 200

The more letters, the quicker the change.

He dose not have an email address so spend the 40 cents and help make some change.

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Hey Guys

Anyone who does not like the web site needs to send a letter to the Mayor Doyle.

The Address is

Pawtucket City Hal

137 Roosevelt Avenue 02860

Mayor's Office - Room 200

The more letters, the quicker the change.

He dose not have an email address so spend the 40 cents and help make some change.

The mayor of the city (CITY!) Of Pawtucket doesn't even have email? :blink: What year is this? Wow, no wonder the website is so awful!

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The mayor of the city (CITY!) Of Pawtucket doesn't even have email? :blink: What year is this? Wow, no wonder the website is so awful!

Couldna seddit betta myseff

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Couldna seddit betta myseff

contact - Paul Masse 401-728-0500 ext. 453 [email protected] if you want the web site changed.

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contact - Paul Masse 401-728-0500 ext. 453 [email protected] if you want the web site changed.

I sent this email on May 25. You can see the underwhelming response.

Paul,

Your name and contact info came up in a discussion forum about Pawtucket. Specifically, this discussion is about the city's website. The discussion is at this URL:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=25760

Herb Weiss is a fairly regular poster on this board and has a Q&A thread going:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=9716

My hope is to get somebody in the city, like you perhaps, to join the discussion on the website, explain what's planned, etc. It seems like many or most of the posters are web pros, so the city could learn more about what users expect and how Pawtucket can position itself to take advantage of low-cost web 2.0, open source, wi-fi and other technologies.

You have to create an account to participate in the discussion, but it's fairly easy to do so without divulging one's identity. Please join us.

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i've complained about the state of the Pawtucket city website in other threads... glad to see this topic arise here. As a designer, of course I am appalled... usability is low, and visual interest is even lower. The main problem with any state agency that I have found however is the bidding process. They HAVE to go with the lowest bidder, which is usually the person with the least amount or experience and ideas. Even if they put out an RFP for a new website, I am not hopeful that it will change for the better.

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They HAVE to go with the lowest bidder, which is usually the person with the least amount or experience and ideas.

Wouldn't it be possible for The City to develop an in-house capability as part of overall Communications?

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i've complained about the state of the Pawtucket city website in other threads... glad to see this topic arise here. As a designer, of course I am appalled... usability is low, and visual interest is even lower. The main problem with any state agency that I have found however is the bidding process. They HAVE to go with the lowest bidder, which is usually the person with the least amount or experience and ideas. Even if they put out an RFP for a new website, I am not hopeful that it will change for the better.

From my experience, city and state agencie don't HAVE to go to the lowest bidder. Most of the public funding streams do allow for work to go to firms with higher than lowest bid, and even allows for negotiated bids with one vendor if conditions are met, without bidding at all.

its annoying that alot of agencies probably DO go to the low bidder, as its more of a cop out than anything and ends up with a lower quality product.

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Here's an excerpt from an email I got from Herbs pursuant to a discussion on this topic after the Mayor's open meeting. At least they know we're here now, but I'm still filing it under FWIW.

Just printed the urbanplanet.org discussion about the City's web-site. I will provide it to Harvey Goulet, Director of Administration tomorrow and cc: the Director of Data Processing (whose office oversees the web-site) and Paul Massey (the person responsible for hands on maintaining and design of the site.)
Kinda funny that they printed it instead of sending an email with a link...

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We are buying a house in Pawtucket next week. Where can new Bucketeers go to learn about life in Pawtucket since the official city page is less than helpful????? I'm trying to unravel mysteries such as:

- What day is trash pick-up day for my future street?

- Are there specific trash regulations we need to follow?

- What gas and eletric companies service the city?

- Do we need to register for water service?

- Where can I read up on local laws - noise - parking - tree care etc?????

Ideas? (Or hard answers?) Anyone?

Thanks!

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Oh, gee, I hope some of our other Bucketeers can give you some guidance.

Maybe we should catlogue this type of information here, since the city seems unable to embrace the web. If people want to start posting local resources, I'll format it all into a new thread.

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We are buying a house in Pawtucket next week. Where can new Bucketeers go to learn about life in Pawtucket since the official city page is less than helpful????? I'm trying to unravel mysteries such as:

- What day is trash pick-up day for my future street?

- Are there specific trash regulations we need to follow?

- What gas and eletric companies service the city?

- Do we need to register for water service?

- Where can I read up on local laws - noise - parking - tree care etc?????

Ideas? (Or hard answers?) Anyone?

Thanks!

Some answers which don't get to the point of where one might go to get the actual information.

- I can only answer that Oak Hill is Thursday. I found out from the previous owner of the house.

- Here is the stuff from the website (Departments -> Public Works -> Refuse Collection

Refuse Collection Rules

Loose garbage will not be picked up.

No container may weigh over 75 lbs and all containers must be equipped with proper handles.

Oil drums are prohibited.

Tree limbs and wood must be no longer than 4 ft. in length. It must be tied and bundled. Wood must be free of nails and hardware.

Rugs must be no longer than 4 ft. in length, tied and bundled.

No sand, dirt, sod, rocks, demolition lumber, broken concrete, asphalt, plaster, tile, brick or other construction material will be collected.

No automobile or motorcycle parts. No tires, motor oil or hazardous liquids.

Metal items must be prescheduled for pickups.

Trash is to be put out no sooner than 24 hrs. of pick up day.

No full paint cans. Latex paint can be recycled in your blue bin after the paint is dry. Oil paint can be disposed of by calling Eco Depot at 942-1430.

Computers and all computer equipment should not be put out with your trash. Call Eco Depot at 942-1430 to find out dates and times.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL

728-0500, ext. 282

- National Grid, quickly becoming a monopoly of Northeast Energy, own both the former New England Gas and Narragansett Electric Company. I love how we deregulated energy in order to increase competetion and now a British company basically controls a monopoly on providing energy to a very large portion of New England. What a great fudgeing screw job by our politicians.

Gas

Electric

- Water and sewer is transferred as part of the closing unless your brokers are incompetent, AFAIK.

- Can't help you on the local laws other than tell you to keep snooping the website, or post in the ask Herb Weiss thread, he will put you in touch with the right person.

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Darlington west of Newport Ave gets trash picked up on Mondays, that's all I know. I read through the town ordinances that were on the website to find out about parking, etc. You can park on the street overnight, just follow the signs.

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We are buying a house in Pawtucket next week. Where can new Bucketeers go to learn about life in Pawtucket since the official city page is less than helpful?????

Welcome to The Bucket. As to where you can learn about life in P't'ck't, you're there! Also, there's a blog that gives some occassional info about the city, but that guy has a pretty bad attitude. (I think he drinks!)

Brick seems to have answered most of your questions. Little details: water is Pawtucket Water Supply Board and sewer is Narragansett Bay Commission.

If you really, really, really want to get into the ordinances, check out this bizarre little ditty I found poking around that horrendous piece of doo-doo the city calls a website. Like the city site, it's a terrible little frames-driven thingee, so that link isn't really the whole deal. Just put Pawtucket into the search box and you'll get a more complete view. At least it's current, with the docket from a 10/11/06 City Council meeting.

Not that I care...

BTW, there's a semi-regular lunch-ish thing some of us do on Mondays at the Exchange St. Cafe. 1 pm. I'm the bald guy in the sumo jock!

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(I think he drinks!)

I'm drunk right now. :alc:

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