Editorial: Is content the real issue?

The South Dundas website is getting an overhaul. Allocated this year, a budget of $50,000 will give municipal staff a top-of-the-line new website to inform residents and promote South Dundas to the world. Stop if you have heard this before.

Back in 2014, then economic development officer Nicole Sullivan allocated $7,400 to a “refresh” of the website, one that was originally built in 2010.

Spending $57,400 in four years on a website doesn’t fix one critical issue with the municipal website: it is out of date. Not in how it looks, but the information on it.

Most websites have tools for updating the information and this includes South Dundas’. But look around the website (www.southdundas.com) and one can find the contact information for the economic development office in the Pinkus plaza. That office has been closed since the department moved to the new municipal center in the fall of 2013. As recently as last week, that information was still on the municipal website. Some departments, to their credit, do update information in a timely manner, but not all.

Council is reviewing surplus properties, something every council since amalgamation has promised to do, and failed. Properties on the chopping block include the old Iroquois public works garage, a vacant lot next to Dundela park, and a vacant lot on Lakeshore drive in Mariatown, among others. These have been for sale for years with no buyers. Who knew?

Perhaps what the municipality needs is a place to list properties available for sale, so if there were interested parties looking to buy property, they would be able to get the information.

A website is a communications tool. Having a top of the line tool is great to have. But if all you want to do is boast that you have a great website, what is the point of spending the money? In order for any tool to be effective, it has to be used. To be of use, South Dundas’ website must be kept up to date.

Unless there is a plan to ensure this is done, the budgeted $50,000 will be a waste of tax money, as was the previous $7,400. It does not make sense to spend good money after bad when the track record shows that tools will not be used.