BEACON FALLS — There hasn’t been a lot of activity on the town’s website lately.
The website has not been updated since early November when Ed Groth, who voluntarily managed the website during former First Selectman Gerard Smith’s administration, stepped down from the position.
“I would like to remind you just how important it is because that’s our window to the world,” Groth told the Board of Selectman Monday night. “That’s where businesses see if they want to come into town. That’s the first thing they look at.”
First Selectman Christopher Bielik said he has not been able to find anyone willing to step up and take over the job in a volunteer capacity.
“I’m fast approaching the realization that we are probably going to have to hire somebody to do that job, unless I get a volunteer that’s willing to step up and do it,” Bielik said.
Bielik pointed out the town budgets for a webmaster each year. The budget is currently $2,500.
“We have not hired anybody, so that money has come back at the end of the year because of Mr. Groth’s volunteerism. That being the case where we don’t have a volunteer right now, I think we will have to solicit bids and see if we can hire someone,” Bielik said.
Former First Selectwoman Susan Cable said she thought the position would be best taken care of by those in the town clerk’s office.
“That function is really a function that should come through the town clerk’s office. You have three people in the town clerk’s office,” Cable said. “You have a town clerk that is there all the time, which is very fortunate for us, and you have two assistants. Somebody should be doing from that office.”
Former Selectman Michael Krenesky felt that although the town clerk’s office generates much of the activity on the website with the meeting minutes and agendas that are posted, the webmaster needs to be someone from outside that office.
“The webmaster position and the position of maintaining that website is much larger than the town clerk’s office and the use of documents. So I have to disagree that I’m not sure that someone in that office that should be doing it. I think your best approach is ultimately going to have to be that the town is going to have to grow up and hire somebody to maintain the website if we intend to keep the website up and going,” Krenesky said.
Krenesky said the other option would be to shut the website down.
Bielik said the board will continue to look for volunteers and while considering soliciting bids for the position.