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North Haven, Connecticut

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North Haven is a city in Connecticut. North Haven's website began to improve greatly under the McCarty administration (2007-2009), and continues to improve.

Website evaluation

Grade2.pngF
Budget P
Partial.png
Meetings P
Partial.png
Elected Officials N
600px-Red x.png
Administrative Officials P
Partial.png
Permits, zoning P
Partial.png
Audits Y
600px-Yes check.png
Contracts P
Partial.png
Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public Records N
600px-Red x.png
Local Taxes N
600px-Red x.png

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

See also: Evaluation of Connecticut city websites


The good

  • Budget: The current annual budget proposal is available in searchable PDF format (accessible from the homepage[1]), as are the three prior annual budgets[2].
  • Meetings: Agendas and minutes are available for the great majority of boards and commissions, both by specific board and on a comprehensive agenda page[3] and minutes page[4]. In addition, meeting videos[5] are also available for the major boards and commissions. There is an excellent meeting calendar[6], with reminder and tell-your-friends features, but it doesn't provide links to agendas. Notices of the next few public meetings are located on the homepage.
  • Elected Officials: The First Selectman's phone number is listed.
  • Administrative Officials: There is a registrars of voters page[7], which gives the registrars' names, address, and phone number. There is also[8]a phone contact page, but it lists only offices, not the names of officials.
  • Permits & Zoning: Building permits[9], assessor and personal property forms,[10] and trade name forms[11] are available in digital form, but they cannot be filled in or filed online. Zoning regulations[12] are available online. Land Records can be searched online,[13] as can Assessor Property Records.[14]
  • Audits: The last two comprehensive annual financial reports[15] are available on the town website, in searchable PDF format. These include the annual audit reports. The special operations and forensic audit[16] done in 2007 is also available online.
  • Contracts: The rules for bids and contracts are available on a Bids and Proposals page[17]. At least some bid or bid specifications are available on the same page.
  • Lobbying: Nothing.
  • Public Records: Nothing.
  • Local Taxes: Tax bills can be paid online.

The bad

  • Budget: The budget and financial reports are lacking in information about payments to specific contractors. There are no graphs or other visuals to make it easier for citizens to see changes in spending and revenues. And no checkbook register is available.
  • Meetings: Some minor boards and commissions do not post agendas and minutes, and some do not go back very far, historically. Agendas are sometimes not available online before meetings occur, or sufficiently prior to the meetings. It sometimes takes weeks or even months before minutes or videos appear online.
  • Elected Officials: The names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of elected officials are not provided on the website. Nor is it clear how to write to board and commission members at town hall, where most of them do not have offices. The voting records of elected officials are not available, except in minutes. Terms of office are not stated.
  • Administrative Officials: The names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of administrative officials are not provided on the website. There is a departmental phone number list[18], but there are no names attached to the departments. There are no departmental personnel, pension, or other policies on the town website, but the personnel and pension policies can be found at the non-governmental North Haven Info site.[19]
  • Permits & Zoning: There are no land use applications, digital transfer station forms, energy assistance applications, youth service or recreation forms, day care applications, or police permits. Digital building permits[20], assessor and personal property forms,[21] and trade name forms[22] cannot be filled in or filed online. There is no online tracking of permit status, nor a list of costs associated with filing applications. There is no link to the 2005 Connecticut State Building Code,[23] which is the town's building code.
  • Audits: Further funds have been spent on the 2007 special operations and forensic audit,[24] but no report after that date is available online. Nor is any performance audit, if one has been done, available online.
  • Contracts: Contracts are not available on the website, nor are the names of vendors or what products or services they sell to the town. In addition, there is no information about campaign contributions made by town vendors.
  • Lobbying: There is no information on the website about those who lobby town officials and employees, or about the town's own lobbying activities, directly or through associations to which the town belongs. There is also no information about grants given by the town to nonprofit organizations.
  • Public Records: There is no information on the website regarding requests for public records, including links to state freedom of information laws.
  • Local Taxes: On the Tax Records webpage[25], there is practically no information about the various taxes (on real property, motor vehicle, personal property, and sewer use) paid to the town government.

External links

References