Metuchen boro Web site upgrade in the works

I would like to respond to John Aden Lewis’ column about the Metuchen borough Web site in your Feb. 9 issue. Mr. Lewis has asked that our Web site,, include agendas and minutes of official borough meetings. He is correct in asking that these documents be placed on our Web site and we intend to do it.

The delay in posting minutes and agendas was twofold. First, we wanted to wait until the new borough hall telecommunication system was fully installed, allowing residents and the larger public to more easily communicate with their government. This telecommunication system was delayed, in part, by the fact that the borough was negotiating with Cablevision to supply free broadband access to borough facilities.

In December, Cablevision finally agreed to provide access as part of the new franchise agreement.

Second, we wanted to install and train our staff on an e-mail and computer system that will be linked to our Web site, thus allowing the public to interact with the various departments of borough government.

Both of these objectives have now been accomplished and recently we signed a contract with a Web site development company to upgrade

This upgrade will provide links to the minutes and agendas of borough government, among other things. Also, this improvement of the Web site involved changing our service provider to offer a more reliable Web site to the public. (Readers may have noticed that recently our Web site was down due to technical difficulties that may have originated with our current service provider.)

The new Web site will soon provide access to borough ordinances, various planning and zoning information, along with other information that residents will find valuable.

What Mr. Lewis and readers may not have realized is that in the past our Web site was designed and maintained by volunteers. Having volunteers make sometimes daily changes to information would be daunting and unfair to those volunteers who freely have given up their time over the last seven years. Therefore the decision was made to make maintenance of the site a formal operation of borough government.

Finally, I have learned that changing technology can be challenging, but I am hopeful that soon we will be able to provide residents with much more information than was possible in the past on a newly designed Web site.

Edmund O’Brien

mayor of Metuchen