Jefferson County launches new Web site

by Dennis Sharkey

The next time visitors go to the Jefferson County Web site they’ll notice some changes.

Last week the county officially launched their new Web site according to Information Technology/Global Information Systems Director Dr. Chris Schmeissner. The site is located www.jfcountyks.com

Jefferson County Web siteSchmeissner said the site will be more user friendly and was designed with the user in mind and not those inside who are putting content on the site.

“We’re trying to look at it as the public looks at it and not internally how we see it,” Schmeissner said. “Internally to us it makes sense but some taxpayers can be confused.”

The site will feature a “How do I?” section that will allow visitors to have quick and easy access to their issues.

The old site was organized by departments and Schmeissner said many times users were confused about where to start. Now if a taxpayer has a question, such as, “How do I pay my property taxes?” it directs the person where to go.

“They look at the county as ‘How do I accomplish a task,’” Schmeissner said. “That way it is transparent to the end user. They don’t have to know the whole process. We focus them in the right direction. We’re trying to get to that more task-oriented thought process.”

Schmeissner said he hopes this will cut down on the frustration and not force people to leave the site.

The site will also feature an “Update Me” function that taxpayers can sign up for to get alerts from the county.

The site will also have a search engine that can internally search PDF documents that each department posts.

Each department will also be able to upload their own material. Schmeissner said this will allow for content to reach the Web more quickly. The move also saves the county money because an administrator is no longer needed. The Web site will now be handled by an outside firm.

Departments have already been changed and some departments have adapted well.

Schmeissner said the county has the ability to monitor traffic to see if users are navigating the Web site with ease.

“You hope they find a good end point and find what they want and then leave,” he said. “You hope they’re not coming to the home page and then they’re gone in 30 seconds which means they’re probably having troubles.”

Schmeissner said it is important to have a good functioning Web site because today’s taxpayer wants to spend less time on the phone.

“This sounds harsh but we’re getting to the point where people don’t want to pick up the phone and talk to us,” he said. “They expect the information to be online and they want it online.”

Schmeissner said it would take 30 to 60 minutes for people in the county to see the new site. However, in Tokyo Japan, it may take up to 24 hours.

County Clerk Linda Buttron said the state launched a new Web site on Monday.

In other actions:

  • Planning and Zoning Director Eloise Tichenor said she is still looking for a response from the Corps of Engineers about eight acres of property that Kentucky Township wants to build a fire substation on. Legal council may try to contact them.
  • Health Director Eileen Filbert said new Medicare regulations regarding doctors and referrals for home health care have been slow to implement. She said doctors were never informed they had to register. The deadline was Jan. 1 but has been extended to March 1. Filbert said referrals were being turned away because the doctors were not registered.
  • Filbert asked for permission to contract with someone to design a database that staff could use to track home health care inventory. Filbert said inventory maintenance could cut costs.
  • Schmeissner said the county has recently completed upgrading their network. In addition to the county’s bandwidth being increased, if a part of a network fails another part of the network will be able to pick up the traffic. He also said if the county’s firewall fails the network will still be accessible. In the past if the wall collapsed the network would shut down. The new server will also allow updates to be made from one computer rather than each computer being individually updated.

Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=4174

Posted by on Jan 16 2011. Filed under County, County Commission, Featured, Government. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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