“We now have elements of functionality that all of our departments can use. Prior to CivicPlus, those kinds of things were only available to departments that had funding for their individual websites or had the technical skills on staff. Now, we’re able to utilize those resources very easily for everybody that wants them. We have departments that are able to do things they would have never been able to do previously because of the functionality that’s built into the CivicPlus platform.”
Jeff Montgomery, Public Information Officer
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To describe the previous Athens-Clarke County website in one word: fragmented. While the local government had a main site, it offered varying degrees of information about departments and their services while linking to around 30 different websites maintained by individual departments. And with each department having varied resources, skillsets, and funding, there was no consistency or compatibility between the sites. More importantly, with no central resource, residents found it nearly impossible to find what they were looking for in one place.
The clean, modern design of the Athens-Clarke County site captures their progressive, vibrant culture, while still giving departments the flexibility to make their pages their own. With a common administrative interface shared across all departments, a wide variety of employees are now trained to make changes and provide backup editing if needed due to staff changes or emergencies. Search-centered navigation allows people to easily find information and resources, but they can also explore the area’s one-of-a-kind offerings through expandable tabs on the home page. Municipal employees are not only able to keep the public better informed, but are also able to gather feedback from the community’s very active citizenry. And the ability to access the site and make changes from anywhere at anytime — even during a snowstorm that shut down city offices just days after the site launched — has proven extremely valuable.