California city offers citizens e-mail newsletter and intergovernmental Web links
The California city of San Carlos, a longtime leader in the use of the Web,
has added an online newsletter to its list of informational services, something
that's becoming common in the commercial Web universe but is still a rarity
at the city government level.
The newsletter is a result of feedback provided by a 10-member citizen
Quality of Life Communications Subcommittee. San Carlos has provided several
print and online publications to its citizens, but the subcommittee found
that these offerings — most of them quarterly — still weren't enough for
a complete information package.
The newsletter called "Today in San Carlos," is written in a "folksy"
style, said Brian Moura, the assistant city manager, and is made up of tidbits
that are current and would be out of date by the time the next quarterly
publication rolled off the presses.
It's free, but people have to subscribe to it through a central e-mail
"So far, it's been well-received," Moura said, "so much so that the
county and other cities in our area are now also talking about doing something
San Carlos also has dipped its toes into the emerging arena of intergovernmental
Web links. Links to selected county and state sites have been added to San
Carlos Web pages, again following citizen comments.
The city had provided links to its own services, Moura said, but officials
had noticed that users were requesting information about similar county
and state services. As other government agencies begin to Web-enable their
services, Moura said links will be added to those deemed to be of most value
to San Carlos citizens, such as Department of Motor Vehicles services.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.
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