Monday, December 03, 2007

December 3, 2007 Commission Minutes: "Key Word" Feature Needed

In my previous post, I mentioned that Minutes of Hamblen County Commission meetings are available on online.

If you are having trouble getting or viewing the minutes--and some people let me know they were having difficulty--this is what works for me.

Go to

Then click on "visit the county clerk's new website..."

Then click on "Commission Minutes List"

You'll see a huge list of links -- not in chronological order--to Hamblen County Commission meetings.

EXAMPLE: If you want to see the June 22, 2006, minutes, click on June 2006 minutes. The first page that you will see is a July 26, 2006, signature page. Don't let that throw you. This page just shows approval in July 2006 of the June 2006 minutes that follow.

To view the June 2006 minutes, use your "down arrow" or "page down" key to scroll to the next page which should be the first page of the June 2006 minutes. Continue scrolling down page-by-page to view all the minutes for June 2006.

You may have to make some adjustments and do some fine tuning with your computer to enlarge the print to be able to actually read the minutes.

The good news is that the minute are online. Hopefully, the next action will be to make them a lot more user-friendly.

A "key words" search feature--like you find on many websites--should definitely be added.

Right now, if you don't know exactly when something was voted on, you may have to plow through years of minutes to find the vote you are searching for.

A "key words" feature was discussed several years ago with county attorney Rusty Cantwell.

Cantwell said then that a "key words" feature would be helpful for him because when he calls the clerk to find out when a particular resolution passed or to get a copy of a resolution, the clerk may have to search through the index at the beginning of several books before he or she can locate the minutes that Cantwell wants.

The "key words" feature would not only help Cantwell and the clerks, it would also help anyone searching the online minutes for a particular vote---"Dollar Store rezoning" "Budget 2003" "Urban Growth Boundary."

Right now, if you want to find something in the online minutes, it's like searching for a very small needle in a very large haystack. A "key words" feature is definitely needed.

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