DeKALB – DeKalb County government has revamped its website, making it easier for residents to search some of the most viewed and requested information.
The new site’s home page, www.dekalbcounty.org, breaks down information into four main sections, including hot topics, property data, services and County Board.
Each section makes information such as the proposed budget, property tax payments, courthouse expansion updates and County Board member profiles only a click away.
Joan Berkes Hanson, director of information management for the county, said the overhaul has been in the works since August 2011 and is designed to reflect the most viewed and searched-for information on the old site.
“I think all of us have been frustrated going places and finding out-of-date information, and that’s not the case with our website,” Hanson said. “It was an effort to make it more easily accessible.”
Lisa Sanderson, webmaster for the county, relinked hundreds of pages to make information accessible from multiple areas so residents can find what they want by multiple methods.
One new feature is the “I Want To ...” tab, which links to dozens of documents and services from events to Freedom of Information Act requests and voting information. There also is a new tab on the home page that links to all current labor contracts, making salary information easier to find when compared with the old site.
The makeover comes on the heels of an Illinois Policy Institute’s report that gave the county a D in transparency. Sanderson noted the county also received a B in transparency from the Sunshine Review, and said the changes were driven only in part by those reports.
She said the information was always available, but the goal is to make it as easy as possible to find.
“We never wanted to hide anything,” Sanderson said. “We have a lot of information and wanted to give the people the ability to get information how they wanted.”
Sanderson called the website a “work in progress” and said additions and improvements will be made in the coming months.