It's instructive to note that any Hallandale Beach resident or visitor going to the city's website would've found the very same things that I did when I was looking.
My only advantage, if you can call it that, was being familiar enough with how poorly-constructed the city's website is and how decidedly non-user friendly it is, with almost no intuitive feel to it at all.
And, of course, the common sense borne of experience to actually notice what was missing and to be able to double-check other places on the website to see if it'd been placed there by either mistake or on purpose, or was simply MIA.
For the tens of millions of dollars the City of Hallandale Beach annually spends, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me and many other concerned residents and small business owners in this city to expect that a current city employee drawing a paycheck actually engages in some degree of quality control and checks things once in a while, to see if everything is where it is supposed to be, and to aggressively fix problems when they encounter them, something which is NOT happening now.
Not by any stretch of the imagination.
A reasonable person might think that the head of the city's IT Dept, Ted Lamott, or the city's public spokesperson, Peter Dobens, might be the two people who by title are the ones that ought to be doing that as part of their job already.
That it wouldn't actually be necessary to mention it to them.
Yes, because that is more or less what they're already being paid for, isn't it, public communication.
And yet we STILL have a website that is not well-organized enough, one that lacks even a basic directory that is properly constructed.
Instead, when searching for information, even when you use the proper name or subject fields, relevant and germane information does NOT appear.
And much of the information placed on the website is placed there in a format that is NOT searchable.
Why would you consciously chose to do that unless what you want to do is make the search query more difficult for users instead of easier?
Lamott and Dobens are paid to make information available to the people who need it, including taxpayers and residents, but nobody I know in this city thinks they're getting their money's worth from either one of them, and that includes yours truly.
Two years ago, I spoke in minute detail to Lamott following a City Commission meeting he had spoken at, after which I spoke for three minutes under public comments about the longstanding website problems that continued to be ignored by him and the city.
We spoke outside the Commission Chambers in the City Hall breezeway and I told him with one glaring example after another that taxpayers were fed-up with problems never being resolved to their satisfaction.
I gave him my contact information and told him that i expected him to get cracking on fixing the problems.
Well, this being where we are, I'm sure that regular readers of the blog will not be surprised to discover that none of the specific website problems I told him about were ever dealt with, and Lamott never contacted me, despite having proclaimed how much he wanted feedback.
Yes, the same exact situation that has occurred so many times in the past with me and others I know in dealing with HB city employees.
They say they want to know but when you tell them what the problems are, you never hear from them again, i.e the Jennifer Frastai Rule.
This email was sent on February 26th, 2013 to the following people:
Sheena James, City Clerk, COHB; Ted Lamott, Director of IT, COHB; Renee C. Miller, City
Manager, COHB; V. Lynn Whitfield; City Attorney, COHB; Liza Torres, CRA Director, COHB;
Michele Lazarow, Commissioner, COHB -just elected in November and someone I voted for.
Why isn't today's Hallandale Beach Planning & Zoning meeting listed on the city's website calendar?