6 communities win MMA’s municipal website awards

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Six communities were honored at the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Jan. 26 with the MMA’s inaugural municipal website awards.

The award recognizes superior customer service, functionality, convenience and government transparency delivered by a municipal website.

The winners are:
Category 1 (pop. 50,000 or greater): Cambridge
Category 2 (pop. 15,000-49,999): Westford
Category 3 (pop. 5,000-14,999): Chatham
Category 4 (pop. under 5,000): Dunstable

Honorable mentions went to Amherst in Category 2 and Sterling in Category 3.

Contest judges evaluated websites based on the following criteria:
• Clearly branded as the official municipal government site
• Organization and ease of navigation
• Robust search function
• Up-to-date information
• Extensive availability of up-to-date public records
• Functionality, interactivity and convenience
• Availability of information about departments
• Contact information, city/town hall address and hours
• Visual appeal and overall experience

Contest judges were Samuel Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, and Carolyn Ryan, a policy analyst with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

The following are the website addresses of the winners:
Cambridge: www.cambridgema.gov
Westford: www.westfordma.gov
Chatham: www.chatham-ma.gov
Dunstable: www.dunstable-ma.gov
Amherst: www.amherstma.gov
Sterling: www.sterling-ma.gov

Nominations for the annual award were solicited in The Beacon and on the MMA website.