After 15 years with the same village website, Rye Brook, New York, didn’t want to waste time or money on a digital upgrade.
As Rye Brook Communication Services Coordinator Fred Siefert puts it, there are three options for local government web services. First is an in-house digital and technical team, which isn’t feasible for most small locales, as there just aren’t the resources available to maintain. Second, is a more custom, third-party option, which still entails expensive, upfront costs that make it prohibitive for governments like Rye Brook to purchase or feel completely empowered to manage post-launch.
The third is a true software-as-a-service solution, such as ProudCity, that empowers local governments to truly leverage economies-of-scale purchasing and cloud-based software solutions that are easier and quicker to deploy without the need for an external team of expensive experts.
After choosing the latter, Fred worked strategically with the village administration and board to budget for the new website, including staff support to manage the short-term project.
While waiting for funding to be released in June, Rye Brook promoted to local universities that it needed a short-term, project-based web developer and began conducting interviews in April. Eventually, it hired Lily Delgado, a recent Manhattan College graduate who majored in computer science.
Using the ProudCity Onboarding process — which includes a series of ‘sprints,’ structured deadlines and product and digital trainings — the website project promptly started June 1 and launched at the end of August.
Through the experience, Lily learned how to use project management tools and a content management system for the first time. She also learned the nuances of how local government works. More importantly, she gained first-hand experience in a real-world work environment immediately after graduation.
Lily suggests local governments looking to hire someone like her be sure to find someone who has basic computer skills (HTML/CSS are a bonus), is comfortable working on a project and “can execute.”
“The onboarding process was a great support system and a great opportunity to manage a project and work with the various departments,” said Delgado after the launch.
The next step for the city is to do some “quality control, get through what we missed,” and onboard other team members. Lily is now working with Rye Brook staff two days a week to train them on how to best manage their respective areas of the website.
Rye Brook is the blueprint for how government can leverage modern technology, help new college graduates immediately get professional experience, share the inner workings of local government to a new generation and build scalable, sustainable digital services for its community at an affordable price.
For local governments looking to upgrade their websites, Lily is available to help the next Rye Brook, and you can connect with her on LinkedIn.
And, if you’re looking for a price quote, visit the ProudCity quote tool for instant, transparent pricing (as an FYI, Rye Brook pays the minimum $100/month subscription rate for our ProudCity Web, ProudCity Safe and ProudCity Care offerings).
View the new Rye Brook website at https://ryebrook.org.