Once again, the Bethany Beach Communications Committee has completed the bulk of its action items. Mayor and committee Chairman Jack Walsh checked off the completed work for committee members at their Nov. 22 meeting:
• New photos of the town museum and other hot-spots for the online photo gallery? Check.
• Individual and group council photos? Done.
• Review of the efficiency of town databases? Good enough to keep the status quo.
• Are the Web site FAQ and downloadable documents up-to-date? Sure enough.
• Consultation with Web consultant Dan Smith? Mark it off the list.
Smith told Walsh he would try to combine the theme elements the committee members so prize from the current home page of the town Web site with a more current governmental feel. Council and committee member Tony McClenny, though, said he liked the existing home page just fine, questioning who was putting pressure on the town to change it.
Walsh mildly pointed in the general direction of Town Manager Cliff Graviet, who had previously commented about how different other municipal sites looked in their styles. Smith is to provide some ideas for the committee for a future meeting, to see if there may be another direction for the page design to go while still retaining those cherished themes of boardwalk, bandstand and “totem pole.”
Walsh noted that the town's November newsletter was under some delay, due to a lack of some input from town officials, but the delay should allow committee member Faith Denault and volunteer coordinator Maureen Killmer to do some further work on an organized appeal for general and skilled volunteers.
It's a renewal of previous efforts to have a list of volunteers upon which the town can call as needed. But committee members reached the conclusion that perhaps two lists were needed: one of general volunteers to do non-specialized work, such as helping with holiday decorating (now under way at the town hall) and one of those with special skills that could be useful for, say, a committee member.
The Communications Committee members were also in agreement that they don't want a repeat of some fallout from the previous “skills survey” in which some people offered their skills but were disappointed not to be contacted.
The current volunteer effort will endeavor to make it clear that some skills might not be needed, while committee openings and general volunteer opportunities are irregular things that might or might not be an ongoing need. Either way, the committee hopes that a roster of dedicated volunteers will be of use in the future.
McClenny said he'd completed a portion of a full Web site review and found a few areas in need of updating and revision, as wells as an overall need for a site-specific search engine. He planned to continue the work to help fine-tune the site in the coming months.
One of those loose Web ends was the reminder of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company's recent raffle for its building campaign. The raffle is done, the truck awarded, but committee and BBVFC member Monte Wisbrock asked that the link remain, because the company plans to make it an annual event. Committee members, by consensus, agreed to remove it for the time being, until the next batch of tickets is on sale.
Wisbrock said he planned to begin the annual update of the online business map in spring — likely in April — to add new businesses and cull listings for those that hadn't managed to make it through the winter.
On the subject of Web site updates, there was some concern about whether updates are made quickly enough for the town. McClenny suggested looking into some other options for providers of updates. But the committee as a whole agreed to first gather input from Town Clerk Lisa Kail, who coordinates Web site updates for the town, before making any decisions.
\One item that is being regularly updated is a photo gallery of the bandstand renovation process, which already features images of the razing of the old bandstand. That and the plans for the new structure are both on the Web site now, at www.townofbethanybeach.com.
With a light agenda and most of their action items completed, the committee opted to skip a December meeting, planning instead to meet again in January.