County Comment: Information Options for Citizens

County Comment
Information Options for Citizens
by Norman Bassett, Public Information Officer
Washington County, Maryland

New options have been implemented for Washington County citizens, and anyone, anywhere in the world, to access news and information about actions of the Board of County Commissioners, and services provided by County government.
Using web-based technology, people interested in finding out about our county may do so 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All it takes is a computer and an Internet connection.
Don't have those? Visit any branch of the Washington County Free Library and take advantage of the free computer and Internet services provided there.
New technology has made it possible for folks to watch Commissioners' meetings live on Tuesday. That service began last August and has proved highly successful. Coupled with streamed audio, podcasts of the "Commissioners' Comment" radio program aired on WJEJ and WICL FM, the County webpage and the newest addition, streaming information screens, Washington County has made great strides in achieving a Commissioners' goal to provide information in new and innovative ways to its citizens.
The information screens are located on the county website. In the upper right hand corner of the page, a small rectangle containing information is continually changing. Click on the lower right corner of that screen to see a full-screen image.
Information is updated daily by the Washington County Public Information Office, and will be of benefit to citizens looking for the latest news on activities the county provides.
Information on road closings is a prime example of how the system will be useful. In times of emergency, the County and allied agencies often must close roads hurriedly, and traditional methods of dissemination to local media usually take several hours before the public gets a chance to read, see or hear it. Although posting information to Internet web pages can be a faster route, information still has to be placed in the hands of those who program and edit the pages.
Information on available County jobs, recreation opportunities, transportation, public safety, recycling, public hearings, meeting agendas and emergency actions will be featured.
In addition, the new feature calls attention to the myriad of information contained on the County webpage: Where it is, what it does, how to find it, and how much it costs.
The feature is a joint project of the Washington County Department of Information Technology, and the county's Public Information Office. County Administrator Greg Murray commended staff of both departments in the Commissioners' meeting held on March 24th.
Need more information? Call me at 240-313-2077.