Article

CITY’S NEW WEB DESIGN IS STILL UNDER WATER … or … AMATEURVILLE AT ITS BEST

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION, FEB. 10-12, 2017) — Thank Bog, Brady, Belichick, and Bob Buhl that the City of Pittsfield finally changed the look of its website. No longer do you call up the site and see Pontoosuc Lake inundating the PHS Dome. In its place you find a series of photos of The City Beautiful.

Many of the photos were taken downtown on Third Thursday, about your only chance of finding living souls as opposed to the Walking Dead who otherwise haunt the big byway. Other shots comprise the typical “Pittsfield at night” “Pittsfield at play” pastische typical of such Chamber-type propaganda. Oddly, there are no winter shots. From the photos, you’d think Pittsfield had San Diego’s climate. That’s what the unimaginative hacks call transparency: We can see right though it.

The photos are beautiful but rotate much too quickly. The result is a rapid succession nearly wipes out the logo and the side tabs. THE PLANET asked its resident geeks for their view. They gave the site a D+/C-: passing, but mediocre.

They advised fewer photos and no full-page photo rotation. The design works against itself. It wants to show the photos full screen for impact. All well and good, except that when you place the search engine directly over this rotation, the viewer mentally “blocks” the photos. The city’s designers violated one of the most basic tenets of web design: The landing page should welcome, not dazzle or distract, the viewer.  People who go on the city’s website want information, not “bizzybizzy.”

As for content, it’s not much better. Click on “News.” Two stories are featured, both from Nov. 26, 2016. It case city planners missed it, we are now in mid-February. When you go to the calendar, only one meeting is listed for the entire rest of February (from 10th to 28th), a 7 p.m. Parks Commission meeting on Feb. 21. Where are the rest?

For example, the calendar doesn’t list a 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 meeting at Herberg Middle School to discuss Pittsfield’s suitability as a home for 50 Syrian refugees. And why no mention of City Council or School Committee meetings? In fact, if you go to the council page and click on two links — “2016 Meeting Schedule” and “Meeting Schedule” — you get two identical pages of last year’s meeting dates. Go ahead. Try to find 2017 dates.

Gosh, do you think the city is trying to keep citizens in the dark? The only other logical explanation is that the web redesign was done by amateurs who likely charged a bundle. You know how it goes: Joe’s brother-in-law got the contract after rigged bidding.

The website may have a new look, but it has the same old outdated and useless information. You think in this digital day the city could produce a more recent roster of board and commission (B&C) members than Aug. 17, 2016. The list itself shows innumerable people whose terms expired in 2016, 2015, and even 2014. For instance, the web site tell us every member of the Cable TV Commission has long expired, as of Feb. 28, 2014. Are they dead? Replaced? In the Phantom Zone?

The B&C roster takes up 32 pages, so tell THE PLANET why only 16 pages have lists of names and why 16 pages are blank? Who does this stuff? Is there ANY accountability?

Tell us, Mayor Linda Tyer.

Tell us council president Pete Marchetti. Tell us, John Krol, Kathy Amuso, Melissa Mazzeo, Pete White, Lisa Tully, Kevin Morandi, Nick Caccamo, Chris Connell, Donna Todd Rivers, and Tony Simonelli.

Tell us Kathy Yon, Josh Cutler, Dan Elias, Pam Farron, Tony Riello, and Cynthia Taylor of the school committee.

Tell us how and why should ordinary citizens have faith in the government over which you preside? Why should they believe you, as their “representatives,” can or will do the next right thing in their name? Why should they believe you even care, when your actions — from the tiddly-winks of web design to the gravitas of budgeting — shows otherwise?

You can’t manage a budget, you can’t handle parking, you can’t plow roads, you can’t keep the city safe and clean … why, you can’t even, in 2017, put together a decent web page.

The sad fact is, if you live and love in Pittsfield, you are being overtaxed for the privilege of not only being underserved but taken for chumps. Dig it now or never: The Suits don’t care about you. They got theirs, and that’s enough.

Meanwhile, you know what they can do with their dot coms.

With that, we open The Comment Line. Have a great weekend, everybody!

—————————————————————————-

“The  Internet is so big, powerful, and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.”Andrew Brown

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in the comment section or opinions published within the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not those of PLANET VALENTI or endorsed in any way by PLANET VALENTI. This website reserves the right to remove any comment that violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment, written word, or information from any source other than PLANET VALENTI as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service. All users of the services of PLANET VALENTI agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice.

191 Responses to “CITY’S NEW WEB DESIGN IS STILL UNDER WATER … or … AMATEURVILLE AT ITS BEST”

  1. heh heh
    February 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

    20 billion dollars to build a wall Gee I wonder if there might be a better way to spend 20 billion dollars

    Nope, can’t think of a one

    • Ghidora
      February 13, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

      Why not spend all that on refugees and illegal aliens. Or are we already spending that much or more on them?

  2. heh heh
    February 13, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

    Was Collingwood let go? And the community development director? Inquiring minds might think the Eagle beat Dan to the story

    • Shakes His Head
      February 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

      Maybe Dean will apply? or Pat? or Paul?

  3. H
    February 13, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

    It’s time for Greg Yon!

  4. Trumped Up
    February 13, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    Check out the Kiosk on Wahconah and the snowbanks in front of it. Are you kidding?

  5. The School Committee
    February 13, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    If the mayor told the department of schools to cut their budget by 10% what would they do.They are figuring a way to look Marchetti in the eye this year and play dumb about having 12 months to come up with at least a few million

  6. CosbiesLadies
    February 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    The guy on tv that looks like a head of cheese,says take care of everyone. I thought that was Trumps job?

  7. Don t
    February 13, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

    Is that Jim Cambrich of 13?quite possibly the worst news channel in the Northeast.

  8. SisterGoldenHair
    February 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

    If a department head is let go, that is the mayor’s perrogative, if they were holdovers from a prior administration, except for the police and fire chief, who are supposed to be protected under civil service law (but of course they are only actors so Tyer could replace them tomorrow).

    It is a cop out to hide behind the “personnel matter” bs, however, and indeed the reason they were fired, if they were, is a public record.

    • Miss Vito
      February 13, 2017 at 4:44 pm #

      Whatecer you’re smokin?

  9. Local Yokel
    February 13, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    They say that Humpty Orange was looking to ban travel again
    Said he say in debates we need to Ban the Muslim Man
    But what Humpty Trumpty couldn’t figure out
    America doesn’t roll that way, it’s time to figure that out
    Humpty Dumpty, Humpty Dumpt

    • heh heh
      February 13, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

      Humpty trumpty is dumpin the constitution

      for starters

      • Silent Cal
        February 13, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

        You wouldn’t know the Constitution if it bit you in the ass.

  10. SisterGoldenHair
    February 13, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    Miss Vito

    All i’m smoking is the pcb’s second hand in this city. Just stating fact – department heads serve at the discretion of the mayor, and if she didn’t appoint them (other than civil service chiefs) ,they are holdovers, and she can remove them.

    And if they were fired for cause, versus simply not retained, we are entitled to know the reason – legally entitled, and ethically – the mayor works for us.

    Miss Golden Hair

  11. Harlan RinkleNutts
    February 13, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

    Don’t you still need City Ouncil approval? Remember when Krol was gushing over Guyer. nice one?

  12. Bill Q
    February 13, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

    Everyone is jumping ship.

  13. Silent Cal
    February 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

    Mayor Linda Tyer said Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood and Director of Community Development Janis Akerstrom are no longer working for the city but that plans are in place for continuity of service. The mayor said she would not comment any further because it is a personnel issue.

    It is not clear whether the two were fired or had resigned.

    In an email to the City Council on Friday, Tyer wrote, “I thanked them for their service to the city of Pittsfield. Their tenure with the City of Pittsfield has come to an end effective immediately.”

    • 12 Gauge
      February 13, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

      Best guess is hat she’ll replace them with even bigger jack wagons.

      • Shakes His Head
        February 13, 2017 at 10:23 pm #

        Throw your hat in, no bigger jack wagon in town than you.

        • 12 Guage
          February 14, 2017 at 12:44 am #

          Does a sore a–hole like bathe in preparation H?

          • Shakes His Head
            February 14, 2017 at 8:16 am #

            I don’t think a sore asshole is what Preparation H is for… but I can honestly say I’ve never used it.

            Preparation H® Ointment relieves both internal and external hemorrhoid symptoms. It temporarily shrinks swollen hemorrhoidal tissue and provides prompt, soothing relief from painful burning, itching and discomfort.

            I really don’t mind that you have a mancrush on my ass, it is kind of flattering really. Too pad you are a lurking creep.

          • 12 Gauge
            February 14, 2017 at 9:31 am #

            Torch, try pulling you head out of your ass.

        • Dean
          February 14, 2017 at 8:57 am #

          Matt you are fake news

          • Shakes His Head
            February 14, 2017 at 10:37 am #

            On one hand you are fascinated with calling me the wrong names and on the other you are clearly fixated with anal play, which is just not something I’m interested in. Sorry boys, look for it next time you are at rumpys

          • 12 Gauge
            February 14, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

            What is rumpys?

          • Dean
            February 15, 2017 at 11:21 am #

            Matt (shakes) that is not the wrong name. you and i both know it.

  14. SisterGoldenHair
    February 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Harlan,

    The mayor appoints and terminates. Council confirms appointments bit it is only a formality, and has no involvement in terminations.

Leave a Reply