Reduce Jobs and I Vote No

That’s my pledge as the fiscal 2016 budget talks slowly involve the city council.

I don’t want to be misquoted so allow me to be explicit:

If I am presented with any proposed budget for any department that intends to reduce or eliminate jobs, I will vote no.

To the mayor and all department directors: We are out of the national recession and it is imperative we maintain and/or grow jobs in this city. I accept there may be projections of reduced revenue or increased expenses but I will not vote to fire someone or reduce his or her hours.

Let the budget talks commence!

Which of These 8 Newburyport Websites Will Lose Google Rank?

Technology and change go hand in hand — and the latest occurs on April 21, 2015 when Google changes its algorithms and begins penalizing any website that is not mobile responsive. Webmasters were alerted in February. Websites that fail the Googlebot test risk removal but definitely demotion from the Google database.

I plugged 8 local websites into Google’s free mobile checker and here are the resulting screenshots:

Newburyport Police
Newburyport Police

Newburyport Schools
Newburyport Schools

Newburyport Public Library
Newburyport Library

Newburyport Youth Services
Newburyport Youth Services

Newburyport Chamber of Commerce
Newburyport Chamber of Commerce

Newburyport Daily News
Newburyport News

Newburyport Current
Newburyport WickedLocal

…and the City of Newburyport’s website
...and the City of Newburyport's website

Which do you think passed the test?

All but two. The police and youth services failed and, unless their websites are edited in swift time, could be demoted from Google.

As for the others, some look OK but most of them have horrible mobile layouts. If a picture speaks 1,000 words, what do these screenshots say about who/what they are supposed to represent? Which inspire you to read and scroll around? Which motivate you to click out?

P.S. Regarding the city’s official website, I think it has a long way to go to improve. But, I couldn’t find any other city website in the north shore that was much better. In fact, even the state website is poor compared to other states. Here’s my review on that.

Stop Writing Reactive Laws

Councilors Jared Eigerman and Meghan Kinsey are cosponsors of a 35-page proposed law to create a Smart Growth District across 49 acres abutting the MBTA station. If you visit this PDF link and scroll to page 51, you can read about its purpose and … [Continue reading]