Marysville city manager wants to freshen up city's website
Marysville's new city manager would like city leaders to think of their town as a viable "product," and work to increase its "brand awareness."
His prototype for a new homepage on the Marysville website would project this approach and help remake the city's way of presenting itself to the world.
"It's all a deliberate integrated part of our larger strategy of developing a sustainable community future and economic prosperity without relying on malls and big-box retailers," reads an email from City Manager Walter Munchheimer.
The proposed change is part of a push to make better use of technology and the Internet to communicate with residents and business interests in the city and elsewhere, said Mayor Ricky Samayoa.
Though the city has recently adopted an online data storage system to help manage and disseminate paperwork, its leadership and staff have yet to make full use of it.
"Technology is fairly easy nowadays and it's so helpful," Samayoa said. "It's just (a matter of) getting over not being comfortable with it."
The BoardDocs system is one of several improvements the city is struggling to adopt in order to make information sharing within City Hall more efficient, and allow the public easier access to it.
And a new, more attractive and interactive website will be necessary, Munchheimer said, to help improve the city's visibility and image to outsiders, including investors.
"Industry data tells us that a website has, on average, 7 seconds to appeal to a viewer before the decision is made to stay or go," Munchheimer's email said.
His prototype features sample photos reflecting various Marysville assets, including the Mary Aaron Museum, the newly re-invented Art-O-Culture gallery on D Street and the Gold Sox mascot posing with fans.
The introductory text reads like a pamphlet advertising a destination city.
"Stroll along tree-lined historic D Street with its cafes, galleries, boutiques and specialty stores to delight any visitor," it reads. "We're an easy day trip from the hum-drum of big city life and crowded big box stores."
Samayoa said that learning about what Marysville residents expect from its online interactions with City Hall will be part of his approach to adopting website changes.
"It's going to be very important to continue communication with the public, but be serious about letting people outside Marysville know about us," he said. "It seems logical, and we'll get there."
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.