Weekly Feature

2014-09-10 / Editorial

Erie County keeps a strong presence on the Web

KEVIN HARDWICK
Erie County Legislature

I t was 25 years ago that I began my job as a political science professor at Canisius College. Back then we were just becoming acquainted with that phenomenon known as the World Wide Web. Very few people had access to it, though. Gradually, folks started getting dial up Internet through AOL and other means. Even so, content on the Web was limited. If governments had websites, they were fairly basic. About all they contained were a few names and phone numbers.

What a difference a quarter century makes. Today you can obtain all kinds of information from government sites, such as Erie County’s. All you need to do is visit www.erie.gov to gain access to all sorts of valuable information. Once there, you’ll see a list of upcoming events such as this month’s rabies clinics, the county’s tax foreclosure auction or our pharmaceutical drop-off.

Click on the departments tab, and you will be greeted with a list of county agencies. Go to civil service and you can obtain a list of upcoming exams necessary for a variety of local government jobs. Visit the Parks and Recreation page, and you can reserve a shelter in one of the county’s parks. The Senior Services page contains a ton of information regarding a variety of programs residents may wish to consider. Prospective venders can benefit from the county’s website, too, as we regularly publish requests for proposals.

There is also a link to the Buffalo and Erie County Library System’s website. There you can obtain instructions for downloading e-books or music. There are many other resources, including a number of searchable databases.

From erie.gov you can also access information about the County Legislature. I invite you to visit my page. It contains an email link with which you can relay any comments or concerns. I also can be found on Facebook by searching for “Legislator Kevin Hardwick.” Other elected officials, such as the executive, sheriff, district attorney, comptroller and clerk can be contacted via the county site.

Much has changed in 25 years. What has not, though, is that elected officials still need to keep in touch with their constituents if our democracy is to function properly. I would like to think that the sort of online resources discussed here have served to facilitate such communication. As always, I am interested in what you think.

If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick@ erie.gov.

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