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Forsyth County Commissioners approve new online communication portal
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A new online portal will help Forsyth County Commissioners communicate with their constituents.

At a work session this week, commissioners approved a new “Commissioners Communication Portal” on the county’s website to better get information directly to the public.

“As we look to continue to leverage technology in support of citizen engagement, the information technology department, in partnership with the communications department, has created a website for [commissioners] to allow you to begin to directly communicate with your constituents,” said Chief Information Officer Brandon Kenney.

Kenney said the plan was to keep the page simple and would provide a way for citizens who did not know their commissioner to find out.

“We’ve got a landing page that our citizens will come to,” he said. “They will simply click on their district. If they don’t know what their district is, we have created a way for citizens to be able to put in their mailbox number (and street name).

Visitors will be able to subscribe to commissioners post and get alerts when new items are posted. Posts will also be tagged so items relating to the same thing, such as road widenings, can be looked at together.

“You constituents will have really a one-stop place to come and understand everything that is going on in their district,” Kenney said.

The portal is not yet active, and can only be used by commissioners in their official capacity.

“Just be mindful that everything you say is as a board member,” County Attorney Ken Jarrard said. “It’s personal, maybe your personal positions, but it’s in your official capacity.”

County staff is working to create guidelines for commissioners.

District 2 Commissioner Rick Swope said the portal would be a good way to get information to the community.

“Our ability to communicate out what’s going on and share the extensive amount of information that is available in the county is crucial,” Swope said. “So, this is going to be, I think, a great move in that direction.”