Sampson County has joined social media and revamped its website, all in an effort to further government transparency and inform the public of all it offers. The new site was unveiled last month, with a plethora of new resources at citizens’ fingertips.
Not only are all departments represented with a wealth of information, those wishing to keep their eyes on government have all Sampson Board of Commissioners meeting agendas and minutes from the past three years at their perusal. Along with pertinent local information and links that allow Sampsonians to do everything from pay taxes, look up properties, check out books and search for inmates, there are also a variety of links to similar state and federal resources.
Those visiting the revamped www.sampsonnc.com will see drop-down menus for departments, topics and government, with everything to either answer a question, or point the inquirer to the right person who can answer it for them.
“The site has been updated and redesigned to offer more comprehensive information on the programs and services offered by our local government departments, to afford easier access to our departmental contacts, schedules and online services,” a recent release posted to the new site stated.
Along with the new site, the county has also entered the realm of social media, creating a “Sampson County” Facebook page and establishing a Twitter account @CountyofSampson in a further effort to reach the masses.
“Websites and social media are only one facet of our outreach and service to our citizens, but it is an important part of those efforts, “ said Susan Holder, assistant county manager and public information officer for Sampson County. “We hope the users of our new site will find it to be informative, convenient and enjoyable to use.”
The project is one that has evolved through many hands and over the last few years.
Holder and the county’s Information Technology director Chris Rayner had discussions with government website vendor Revize about two years ago, after which they began working on the project, even using a summer intern’s assistance in the basic page development process. Ultimately, however, the project was back-burnered as county staff was overwhelmed with various other duties.
It began in earnest again with the hiring of Richard Carr, the county’s Projects and Communications specialist.
“What you see now is our collaboration,” said Holder. “Chris and Richard are quite accomplished with the character-generation side of the site. They can update it with ease. I get involved with design and copy issues.”
It is the hope of county officials that the revamped website and social media prove useful to Sampson citizens.
“Our goal for this site is that it will not be static, but ever-changing and updating to meet the needs of its users,” said Holder. “We will be working constantly to improve it based upon the feedback we receive.”
User’s computers may still have the old website “cached.” That should eventually be resolved, but users may also be able to delete the old www.sampsonnc.com bookmark and add a new one. Those with comments or suggestions about the new site can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.