Swain County’s website lacks basic information

fr swainwebWith the lowest population and the lowest county budget, Swain County also scored the lowest among the four-county website comparison. 

Cherokee’s web presence a work in progress

fr webcherokeeThe Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ website received the lowest score of any of those reviewed by The Smoky Mountain News, coming in with an overall 1.4 out of 5. 

Sylva’s website scheduled for a makeover

fr websylvaSylva’s website, last overhauled in 2010, will be getting a facelift this year after the town board voted to spend $3,000 on a redesign of the town’s website and logo.

User-friendly website a priority for Jackson

fr webjacksonKelly Fuqua doesn’t have a problem saying she’s pretty proud of Jackson County’s website. Before she overhauled it in 2011, the site was getting “complaint after complaint,” and she sank a lot of work into fixing the problem. 

Franklin strives for open government — even online

fr webfranklinThe town of Franklin’s website is a great example of a small town going the extra mile to encourage public participation in local government.

Online presence a must for modern government

fr web govtGo back in time 25 years, and a town with a website — any website, no matter how terrible the fonts or funky the navigation — would have been seen as glitzy and ahead of its time. But these days, having a website is the bare minimum of what citizens expect from their government’s online presence.

Corruption found in preliminary Cherokee audit results

cherokeePrincipal Chief Patrick Lambert bore the look of a man on a mission when he presented Tribal Council with a first look at results of an ongoing forensic audit on Tuesday. The results he held in hand may have been only preliminary, he told council, but they were disturbing enough that he’s already encouraged the FBI to start investigating.

Apple or Uncle Sam? I don’t like my choices

op frWho you going to trust, Apple or Uncle Sam? By deciding not to obey a court order to unlock the iPhone phone of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, Apple says it’s taking a stand for privacy against government intrusion. The company insists breaching Farook’s iPhone security system would be tantamount to opening the floodgates and endangering the security of the data on millions of phones.

I swear, it’s really much ado about nothing

op frSometimes in the world of journalism, the story becomes more about the reaction than the original news event. By my estimation, that’s what’s going on right with Franklin Mayor Bob Scott and his decision to put his hand on the Constitution instead of the Bible when getting sworn in for his second term.

Scott is one of those small-town politicians who seems to come to public service naturally. He is a former alderman, has led the local chamber of commerce and the Rotary Club. He’s been a journalist and a public affairs officer who believes passionately in open government. He’s retired, but from what I’ve seen he works nearly all the time as chief cheerleader and advocate for his adopted hometown.

Swearing to God still carries political weight

fr mottoPublic officials aren’t required to place their hand on a Bible to be sworn into office, but a majority of them still do.

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