Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where oh where did the city codes go? Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

Reply to "Insider"

A comment left by Insider needs to be addressed in more detail then I did in the comment section of part 2.

Their first section was short and to the point.

Not many cities / towns in tennessee have their codes online. I think here in Rutherford county, Lavergne is the only one. Eagleville has a draft version, but I don't think it's the current version.
Smyrna has always had a progressive view towards the future of our city. Doing road work and creating a master plan as the future is coming quick, and the city needs to be prepared. Yet in their duty to inform the public of the ordinances they have fallen and need to improve. If LaVergne can do it, and Eagleville seems to be attempting to, then why can it not be done here?

You say others don't have them online. It means the problem is wider then I thought it was.

Now this next section is interesting to me.
Anyway, in Smyrna's defense, I will say that mtas does not provide the draft recodification in digital format to the cities / towns that they serve. They only give paper copies to the municipalities. The cities / towns would have to scan the document and a 360 page document would be much too large to download on the internet.
Why MTAS would only supply paper seems odd, but being a government funded program I can understand to some extent why they do things backwards.

Now "Insider" says the city would need to scan each page and it would be to large to download.

During the last town council meeting as they discussed certain issues town attorney Michele Elliott called out the page numbers for the town council to look to as they needed to see the section being talked about. They viewed these on their computers, implying that this giant paper document has been scanned into at least one big document. Now in my article I said it would be a 360 plus page printing, but that is two sides of each page, the mayor mentioned a 700 page file.

As you likely know the codes are in sections, and there are many free programs out there that can break up a PDF into manageable files. Files that could easily be downloaded and hosted by the towns computer servers, wherever they are.

The problem is that right now the main issue is not the laws online. Howhard is it to add a simple link to MTAS? Simple things like that are not being done.
After the code has been updated, mtas will give the cities a digital copy or it can be downloaded from the mtas website.
The quickest we can find out what most of the changes are is after the fact, when the time to be vocal has passed. This has silenced a good number of people by keeping the citizen's of Smyrna in the dark. Even more repugnent since a set of simple links to PDF files is all they need to do to fix the problem as I see it.

When a city cannot even do a few small HTML coding acts to better inform the people, then the government is in error.

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