As reported by the Cecil Whig – http://www.cecildaily.com/news/local_news/article_4985bce3-497d-5a29-b07a-4a33086bb583.html?utm_medium=social

By Jacob Owens – jowens@cecilwhig.com


While the town’s motto may be “The Way Life Should Be,” town administrator Mary Cooper believed visitors to the town’s website previously may not have thought that.

“The old site was outdated and we say that Cecilton was founded on friendship, so I wanted something that was more pleasant to visit and not so formal,” she said Thursday.

So as one of her first tasks as town administrator, Cooper set out to modernize the town’s website, found at www.ceciltonmd.gov, and make it more appealing and resourceful for visitors. She worked with Green Technology for months to redesign the site, keeping pages of notes jotted down on her desk and showing designers around town.

After a few weeks of testing, it went live Monday.

Links on the town website have been consolidated to eight subcategories, including town council and personnel, important phone numbers, meeting agendas and minutes, the town’s history and more. Residents will also still find the ability to pay bills online with a readily apparent dedicated button.

Also keeping in mind its view toward the future, the new website is designed to easily adapt to smartphone screens — something the outdated older website was not.

The new site, like many other recently redesigned municipal sites in Cecil County, features a more appealing, simple homepage with a routing carousel photo display. The homepage also readily features town hall and meeting info, a calendar of local events and an alternating display of local community organizations.

It’s that last feature that was a priority for Cooper, who has strived to connect Cecilton to its nearby unincorporated areas like Warwick, Earleville and Fredericktown. Already listed in the town’s Community Organizations section are Bohemia Manor Junior Football and Cheerleading, Chesapeake City Little League, Cub Scouts Troop 340, the Cecilton Lions Club, Lower Cecil County Senior Citizens Inc., the Upper Bay Ruritans Club, Grace Community Baptist Church, Union Bethel AME Church, Wards Hill Baptist Church, Zion United Methodist Church, Cecilton Parks & Recreation and the Cecilton Volunteer Fire Department.

“The organizations and groups in our community is what makes us so strong,” Cooper said. “They are extremely active in our schools and around town, supporting many through charitable efforts, so we wanted to give them a forum to showcase themselves.”

Cooper noted that the website will continue to be a work in progress and town officials will be receptive to the community’s requests and feedback. She said events and activities by the town organizations will soon be listed as well.

Having previously worked as town clerk in nearby Chesapeake City, Cooper said she was excited by Cecilton’s “sense of community” when she arrived. Since taking over as town administrator four months ago, she’s walked door-to-door to introduce herself to many residents and find out how she could help foster that feeling.

“I wanted to add to that feeling, where everyone knows their neighbors and talks with others in town,” she said. “What I heard was that folks didn’t always feel informed, so I’ve tried to make our Facebook page and website more inviting. If they visit those places looking for local events or information, they’ll also readily find updates on town business.”

Part of her efforts have included starting a monthly town trivia game with residents on Facebook, reinvigorating a town pride photo campaign much like Elkton’s “We Are Elkton” campaign and planning community events. Cooper said she’s lining up a community cleanup day and a Kids to Parks Day with a town picnic in the spring.