The web site of the Town of Loxahatchee Groves is still only partially operating after being stripped two months ago due to a lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Town Manager Jamie Titcomb provided a report on the status of the web site last week in the absence of information technology specialist Steve Murray.
“At the last meeting, the council selected a provider to create a new web site, which would be ADA-compliant and have all the other amenities that we spoke about,” Titcomb said at the June 4 meeting. “That contract was executed by CivicPlus. It went to our town attorney, and there were some comments back and forth on some legal tweaks here and there.”
Now that the contract is done, Titcomb said that the project to put up the new web site will begin shortly.
“Meanwhile, on the existing web site, as you all know, and has been discussed by the public, it was taken down because of the ADA concerns,” he said, adding that some basic information has been put back on the web site.
“The reason you’re getting just agendas on the web site, with no backup, is because we can make a PDF of a text agenda ADA-compliant,” he said. “It’s far more difficult to make the backup ADA compliant because it’s scanned images and other issues on a production level that we just don’t have the time capacity and the staff to mount it all. If the public needs copies of the backup, we do produce a house copy, and it’s made available here for the asking. If somebody needs a specific document, please contact the clerk’s office, and we’ll make sure you get that.”
Titcomb added that all old archival information that was on the web site is available on drives in the office as public records.
Mayor Robert Shorr asked if someone could come in and get information downloaded on a thumb drive, and Titcomb said people may be able to have information e-mailed to them.
Shorr added that he was concerned about thumb drives that may be infected with a virus that could hack the town’s system, and Titcomb said he would troubleshoot that question.
Councilwoman Laura Danowski asked if a “question and answer” window could be placed on the web site to cover common inquiries. “A lot of residents are saying, ‘Why can’t we live stream?’ ‘Why can’t we have this on the internet?’ ‘Why can’t we have a closed-caption?’ ‘Why can’t we have a sign language interpreter?’” she said. “I appreciate the frustration, so Jaime is going to work with Steve to put a very concise, short Q&A, in lay person’s language.”
Titcomb mentioned that half the municipalities in the county right now are going through the same thing with their web sites.
“Their web sites are down or constricted because of the cottage industry that is out there trying to exploit this particular weakness,” Titcomb said. “Everybody’s working on this particular weakness in web communications, so everybody’s working on it to resolve it quickly, and I think you’ll see it resolved very shortly.”
Shorr stressed that at this point, the council has done everything it can.
“We’ve authorized the purchase of the equipment,” he said. “We’ve authorized to hire the subcontractor, so the ball’s in Steve Murray’s court. Now he has to tell us when it’s going to be done. He needs to put some dates out there. If the equipment’s on order, we need to know when the equipment is coming here. Once it gets here, how long until it gets implemented? The main thing is the livestreaming.”
“It’s in the works,” Titcomb replied.
“Well, we need to know when it’s going to be done by,” Shorr said. “We need to put some deadlines on some people and communicate those.”