Vernon took one step forward with improving website and one step back with the mundane attempt to welcome visitors

Getting your message across is increasingly complex. Gone are the days of an advertisement or press release.

Now, governments, businesses and non-profit agencies have to continue with traditional forms of communications while also navigating the Internet in all of its forms — websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a multitude of other social media outlets.

Some are slow to the mark while others have tackled the challenge head-on.

Case in point is the City of Vernon, which has overhauled its cumbersome and less than inspiring website.

Perhaps the most significant change is the simplified search process.

“The idea is to have two to three-click navigation to find the information you are looking for,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, communications officer and the mastermind behind the web update.

For those looking for specific details on businesses licenses or building permits, the information is easily accessible, while transparency is covered off by bid results and annual contracts issued by the city.

If you want to know how your money is being spent or what infrastructure projects are moving ahead, just click the mouse.

And while many residents cling to the perception that governments treat them like mushrooms, attempts are being made to improve conditions. Specifically, Vernon residents can subscribe to e-mail alerts on upcoming events, meetings, job postings and bid opportunities.

Lodging a complaint with city hall has also never been easier.

An online form provides residents with the opportunity to notify city hall about issues ranging from garbage collection and parks maintenance to road surfaces, unsightly properties and sidewalks.

While some will question the $100,000 or so spent on the website redesign, technical expertise doesn’t come cheap and if it means improved awareness among residents about their community, then the cost was worthwhile.

But others will rightfully question the city’s recent attempts to develop entrance signs at Vernon’s borders.

Staff’s concept included a main front with a white background, the name Vernon and the city’s logo. The backside was proposed to contain images of local scenery and activities.

Even top-level administrative endorsements didn’t guarantee a political rubber stamp.

“I find it very bland,” said Coun. Catherine Lord. “It seems odd to have art on the back of what to do in our city when they (visitors) are leaving the city.”

The lack of text on the sign, such as Welcome to Vernon, was also blasted.

“We have a logo statement, Activate life, which could be appropriate there,” said Coun. Scott Anderson.

The bottom line is the designs were uninspired and while signs can represent everything, they did little to capture the energy of the community.

Staff and their consultant have been sent back to the drawing board, and while it’s not known if the original design work was part of the estimated $55,000 project cost, it’s obvious more cash will be needed.

In the end, the City of Vernon took one step forward with improving the website as a way of communicating with its citizens, and one step back with the mundane attempt to welcome visitors.





Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Group of cowboys on horses out rounding up cattle, 1888. The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is celebrating Vernon Winter Carnival’s Wild West theme with a virtual trip back in time looking at the ranching days. (GVMA #5021)
Museum rounds up Vernon’s wild west past

Vernon Winter Carnival event, Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch, Feb. 9

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

Virtual programming will assist the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society in spreding environmental education. (ABNCS photo)
Vernon nature centre online with gaming grant

Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society benefits from provincial funds

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

The Kamloops RCMP detachment is asking for the public’s help in finding Kayne Pasco, a Vernon man wanted on several B.C. charges. (Contributed)
Wanted Vernon man believed to be in Kamloops: RCMP

Kayne Pasco, 27, is wanted in the province for several offences

Members of the Vernon Flying Club. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
WATCH: ‘Total freedom’: pilots fly in formation over Okanagan cities

Black Press Media got a first-hand look at what the Okanagan looks like, from above

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Central Okanagan school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say the person is self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read