Residents can try out borough Web site

Menna wants more input before contract is awarded


RED BANK — Before the borough decides on a Web software provider, residents will be able to test out a model version.

In December the Borough Council authorized the mayor and the borough attorney to execute a contract with C3 Citizen Communication Center, but at the Jan. 26 meeting, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna announced that the borough planned to issue requests for proposals (RFPs) before entering into a contract.

“[Based on] rather spirited public comment at some of our council meetings as well as questions that the public had concerning an issue as important as Web site design, it would be my recommendation, based on public comments as well, that the contract provided to the borough not be entered into at this time,” Menna said.

The borough did not previously send out RFPs for providers. At a meeting in December, the borough administrator said other neighboring towns have not sought out RFPs for Web providers, and in addition, the C3 software was patented and not comparable to other products.


enna said Councilwoman

Kathy Horgan, who heads the Education and Technology Committee, would be scheduling public dialogues to elicit feedback from the community. He said the borough is inviting anyone with ideas or suggestions to attend.

The mayor said C3 will implement their Web site vision for Red Bank to evaluate.

“They have graciously agreed to put up the Web site at no cost to the municipality. People can check it out to see what they’ve created,” Menna said. “It will not cost us a penny. There is no contract, and after the public discourse and requests for proposals,

we will be publicly accepting [and] deciding as a council what’s best.”

Menna said there’s no guarantee that what’s been developed by C3 will be permanently accepted or implemented.

“We don’t have to pay for the implementation costs. If we don’t

like it and choose somebody else, they will take it down and we’ll move on to the next proposal that may or may not be accepted,” Menna said. “I believe that is a fair and equitable resolution of the issue.”

Menna encouraged people to check out the site and try it out.

“It brings us into the modern age with something we can look at, and see whether or not it meets our purposes and needs and still goes out for public comment,” he said.

According to the initial proposal from C3 to the borough, the services provided will cost about $2,000 a month.

Services listed in the proposal include departmental calendars, the publishing of government forms, creating and managing citizen surveys, publishing special events, and providing important notices, instant delivery and routing, instant tracking of requests, and detailed department and administrative reporting.

The service will publish neighborhood watch information for the police department and manage citizen crime tips.

Horgan said she planned to meet with other members of the committee to set up times for public discussion.

“I want input. I want everybody to see the Web site. It’s important to have stakeholders, various people like seniors — what do they want to see on there? What about parents with parks and rec? I know sometimes parents, they don’t get the forms to fill out soon enough,” Horgan said. “So we want everybody to log on and give us their opinion.”

Chief Financial Officer Frank Mason said the Education and Technology Committee had a budget of about $40,000 last year and there is no specific budget designated for the Web site.

Horgan said she wants the new site to be user-friendly.

“We want people to be able to navigate easily, because the whole point is to get information. So, whatever we can do to make the lives of our residents easier, to keep them informed, [is what we want to do],” Horgan said.

She said she’d like to see a new Web site up and running in the next couple of months.

“We need a Web site. This has been going on for years,” she said.