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Improving Access to County Information with New Online Tools

Apr 05, 2019 03:17PM ● By Editor
The new Civic Web Portal’s responsive design makes accessing County meeting agendas and materials easy and accessible on mobile devices and desktop computers. Mobile version pictured here.  Image below:  Cook County MN

Media Release from Cook County MN - April 5, 2019

Starting this week, Cook County will introduce a more efficient and effective tool for managing agendas, meeting materials and minutes. The new platform is iCompass CivicWeb Portal, a cloud-based service that caters to local governments, creating a one-stop-shop for all County meetings, schedules and materials. Access to the Portal will still be from the County’s main web page. Users can also bookmark the Portal address for easy reference in the future and subscribe to specific agendas which will automatically deliver updates, changes and materials. https://cocookmn.civicweb.net/Portal/

To improve public access to agendas, minutes and calendar of public meetings, the County Board approved a contract with iCompass in July 2018, for the Meeting Manager Pro and Board Manger software solutions. Over the last few months, Cook County has been transitioning to iCompass and is pleased to fully implement and launch these tools to manage both public and internal County meetings.

Archives for meeting agendas and minutes from 2018 and prior will continue to be housed on the county website with easy access from a “Archives” button on the civic web portal.

Public meetings include, meetings of the Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission, Public Health & Human Services, the Parks & Trails Commission and the Soil & Water Conservation District.

The new system will create efficiencies, including:

  • Better organization,
  • Cutting down the time spent building and distributing agendas.
  • Digital content creation and OCR (optical Character Recognition) software to digitize scanned items, and
  • Ensuring the public automatically receives changes or additions to agendas and materials through the subscription option

Primary benefits to the public include:

  • Meeting materials will be available, viewable and responsive to any device, e.g. appropriately sized on mobile or desktop devices. Citizens can create a username and password to subscribe to meeting updates on the meetings you are interested in and get automatic updates when Agendas or Minutes are published.
  • A robust search feature allows people to find information quickly and easily. Content will be much more searchable. The basis of the platform is a document management system and because most of the content will be digital, agendas and minutes can be more effectively searched.
  • The calendar feature shows all scheduled meetings with hyperlinks to published Agendas. Meeting information provides general information about the time, day and location of regularly scheduled meetings.
  • An intuitive Help feature is always available in the upper right-hand corner of the Portal.

The iCompass Portal is an interactive tool for both public and staff users and provides a professional and easy-to use-interface. Staff can use the Portal to stay up-to-date on their Action Items, Reminders, and Approvals with the click of a button. Implementing iCompass is one way Cook County is working to improve access and engagement with County information and County Board initiatives. If you have any questions about this new communications platform, contact the County Administrator’s Office at 218-387-3687


Contact: 

Jeff Cadwell, County Administrator, 218-387-3687 or [email protected]

 

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