Twain Harte CSD plays a big role in their community by providing a variety of essential services, however finding an efficient way to communicate with the public wasn’t always easy. While they had a website built by consultants on a free platform, it was so challenging to use that no one at the district could make changes. The result was only the most basic information was posted, the formatting was always a mess, and website usage suffered. This was particularly painful during emergency events, like droughts and wildfires, when staff were then required to handle a large number of phone calls and walk-in inquiries, host community meetings, and send costly mailers.
“Our website is our face to the community, and that face is best presented by district staff - people who live in our community. Streamline gives us the capacity to do this while remaining compliant.”
– Tom Trott, General Manager
1) The need to better engage and inform the community regarding their many public services, 2) the requirement to have a website that complies with both federal accessibility standards as well as increasing state mandates, including posting deadlines, and 3) to do all of this in the most cost-effective way to save taxpayer dollars for other important efforts.
Aside from compliance, the main thing they needed was autonomy. Hiring consultants to update the website was costly and often resulted in delayed information that didn’t accurately reflect the district or their community - not to mention adding to the risk of a lawsuit for having an inaccessible or noncompliant website.
“Lawsuits just aren’t an option for us. News like that is a big deal in rural areas - we recently watched another agency’s reputation become damaged after a Brown Act violation.” Trott estimated that recovery from this violation easily cost the agency thousands in public relations and advertising, not to mention several weeks of damage control by their team, including leadership and board members.
Enter Streamline Web, a website platform specifically designed for the needs of special districts. This provided Twain Harte with the tools required to build an ideal website which quickly became the primary communication channel. Furthermore, since Streamline Web was designed for non-technical users, all of this was completed by existing staff within Twain Harte CSD.
Most importantly, the team at Streamline updates the software to meet ever-changing state and federal requirements, which leaves one less thing for Twain Harte CSD, and all Streamline customers, to worry about.
Since deploying Streamline Web, online engagement is at an all-time high. Previous district surveys would yield around 20 responses, and a recent online survey yielded 400+ submissions. Site engagement metrics and the email list have reached record-breaking levels, which include more community feedback on strategic initiatives than ever before. Costly, time-intensive communication channels like phone inquiries, community meetings, and mailers have been greatly reduced. Staff is now able to better focus on things that provide meaningful change in their community, like big capital improvement projects - and they can easily promote them online.
“The autonomy Streamline provides has given us the power to control our web presence, leading to efficiency of both time and money - not to mention the ability to have an informative, engaging, and up-to-date website.”
– Tom Trott, General Manager, raised in Twain Harte.
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