Little Canada's Web Site. (FYI)

Public Management, June 2002 | Go to article overview

Little Canada's Web Site. (FYI)


Benjamin Gervais would have been proud. As Little Canada, Minnesota's first European settler in 1844, Gervais could never have imagined something called a "Web site" and how it would someday tie his community into a worldwide information network. But now, more than 150 years later, this community of 9,700 people has a fully functional site to call its own, with the assistance of the GovOffice Web development tool, available to local governments through a public/private partnership of the League of Minnesota Cities, ICMA, several other state municipal leagues, and GovOffice.

With residents in so many places using the Internet to gain information and to interact with their local governments, the Little Canada City Council and staff of 12 full-time employees realized that a Web site would be an essential part of communicating with residents, regardless of their city's size.

"The council had a goal of putting together a Web site at its retreat, and rather than my taking classes to learn a new computer language, we signed up for GovOffice," said Kris Pechman, the Little Canada staff member who updates the site. "Councilmembers and City Administrator Joel Hanson always are looking for ways to improve communication with our customers, and this is another great avenue.

Little Canada's site contains helpful information previously not available in any single place. Visitors to the home page are greeted with vibrant colors and photographs, graphics that include the city logo, and a range of information options. From this launch point, visitors can point-and-click to anecdotes about the city's history, job postings, a list of community events, a copy of the city newsletter (in Portable Document Format or PDF), city council agendas and minutes, municipal ordinances, local government departments, and official legal notices. All permits are available in PDF, allowing users to print the forms, complete them, and mail them back to the city. …

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