The Township of Ramara is hoping a new website will better engage its residents.
While it still maintains the township website, it has launched a three-month trial with software company Bang the Table and has created reachoutramara.ca.
When John Pinsent joined the township as its new chief administrative officer in June, he wanted to improve Ramara’s communication with the community.
“I didn’t see a good electronic media where I could learn about the township and what people were doing here,” he said.
The existing website serves a purpose, but it doesn’t encourage engagement with residents.
“The (new) website is sort of a foot in the door in terms of looking for information,” he said.
At reachoutramara.ca, visitors can keep up with the latest issues before council as well as events happening in the township. Those who register to create a free account can contribute their ideas and concerns on the website. The comments are moderated 24/7 by Bang the Table.
“It becomes a platform that serves many constituents,” Pinsent said, adding he is “very impressed” with the website, which has been up for about three weeks. “This is very much a shift in how the township does business.”
As of Thursday afternoon, 95 people had registered, said Ashley Watson, Ramara’s business and communications co-ordinator, who has done a lot of work on the project.
Pinsent would like to see that number increase.
“I hope we can get the attention of residents and get their input,” he said. “That, to me, would mean we are successful.”
After the three-month trial, staff will report to council, which will determine whether it wants to continue with the website.