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City’s Web site up and running

Barbara Diamond

Folks no longer have to get into their cars to find out what’s going

on at City Hall, with just a couple of exceptions.

“Our goal is not to just make information available, but to make it

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easier to get,” said Chris Kreymann, the city’s jack of all trades and

project manager for the newly designed Web site.

Kreymann, formerly a principal planner in the city Community

Development Department, now heads a division of the Administrative

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Services Department with the new title of Network Administrator. He

designed the city’s Web site and supervises it.

“The project took about six months,” Kreymann said. “We generated

digital photographs of city art and sites. A lot of the text we had on

hand and converted for the Web site.”

City meetings are posted on calendars. To find out if agendas, minutes

or recaps are available, users must click on the date number, not the

name of the group in which they are interested, and links will pop up.

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Kreymann estimates the start-up cost for the Web site was between

$40,000 and $50,000. Ongoing maintenance will run $12,000 to $15,000 a

year, he said. His division does not have a specific budget for the Web

site.

“The Web site is beautiful, but we need to get agendas and minutes on

as soon as they are available,” Parking, Traffic and Circulation

Committee Chair Carolyn Wood said Tuesday.

Kreymann took on the Web site design project last September. He will

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continue to monitor it for quality and content.

“Right now material has to be submitted to us to get on the site,”

Kreymann said. “We expect to introduce new information from time to time.

For a Web site to be interesting, you have to rotate content.”

The site was designed with residents in mind.

“That distinguishes us from other Laguna Beach Web sites,” Kreymann

said. “We are not trying to attract other people to town like the

Festival of Arts site or the Chamber of Commerce.”

Local weather reports pop up every 15 minutes and every 10 seconds

there is a video snap shot of Main Beach and of Forest Avenue so folks

can see whether it’s foggy downtown or if the traffic is backed up.

“We also have the geographic information system,” Kreymann said. “We

have been using the GIS internally since July and we were getting 600

hits a day. I couldn’t believe it, I thought it was a mistake. It is used

by the police, the fire department, the Public Works Department and now

it’s available to the residents.”

The GIS contains aerial maps of the city, which the Planning

Commission is recommending be included in design review submittals.

Verna Rollinger, who was first elected city clerk in 1976, started the

ball rolling with a bulletin board, assisted by Web Wave, a local

company. Rollinger solicited funds for the project from the community.

“That developed into the original Web site, on which Chris did a lot

of the work,” Rollinger said. “The city contracted with Web Wave to keep

it updated.

“For several years I wanted to upgrade the Web site and Web Wave

developed a proposal about two years ago at my request.”

Rollinger was unable to get support for the proposal.


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