The Town has a new website that is updated and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) compliant. I see it as five steps forward and one step back.
No, I’m not bitching and moaning. I think it’s great but there is one element missing that I think is important. The full Council Agenda packages will not be available for review and download from the website. The agenda summary, a five page or so document will be available. If you want to see the full Council Agenda Package you will need to sign up to receive the document by email electronically as they are issued. It’s pretty simple, contact the Town office and ask to be added to the mailing list. I’m on the list as are several others. It’s practical and efficient. Or you can contact the Town Office and ask for the current or a past agenda package to be sent to you.
The reason for this is that not all of the attachments are AODA compliant, and I guess if any part is not AODA compliant it’s not permitted to be posted on the Town’s website. Seems as though we are going the way of Quebec where it is illegal to sell a talking doll if it only speaks English.
My concern is that the public will not have reasonable access to the agenda package. Yes you can request it, but it can only be delivered during working hours. Want to read it on a weekend? Wait until Monday, unless of course it’s a civic holiday, in which case wait until Tuesday. Want to read it Monday night because there is something on the agenda the following evening you want to know more about? Tsk, tsk, you should have checked the agenda summary on the weekend and requested the agenda package on Monday.
I think it’s a step backward. My solution is to host the full Council Agenda Packages at this site (www.parrysounds.com). I will have a new page where the packages are listed for download. In the past I had a link to the actual agenda packages. I will continue to include links in the Agenda Preview posts to the Town’s website for the agenda summaries and a link to the full package for download. I have no intention of ‘subverting’ the system but I feel a need to do my part to ensure there is full transparency with respect to the Town’s activities.
Great Advice! (Parry Sound, a Touch of Colour)