If you tried to look up how to pay your property taxes online or how to get a business permit in the county during the past few days, you may have noticed something different.
By ROXIE HAMMILL
Special to The Star
The county has done a complete overhaul of its website — jocogov.org — and put it up for a “soft launch” on Friday. The redo also features a new county logo (though still with the familiar sunflower) as part of a rebranding effort that is designed to be less confusing to residents, said Jody Hanson, senior public information officer for the county.
The logo is important because the county previously had more than two dozen logos from various departments, Hanson said. That many insignias made it harder for residents to recognize that services and agencies they deal with are part of county government, she said.
The logo is being phased in, starting with departments that report to the county manager’s office and then with departments that have their own governing boards. The sheriff and district attorney’s offices also have expressed interest, though they are not required to use it.
The website has been reorganized to make things simpler, Hanson said. Some 450 county services have been grouped by function so visitors can search under general headings, such as “business” or “health.” In the past, a resident would have to know, for instance, that the appraiser’s office would be the place to look for records of property ownership.
The website also unifies the design among the various departments.
Someone wanting to look up who owns a piece of property, for example, can find a wealth of information under “location maps and information.” Typing in an address will tell not only who owns it but also the polling place, utilities that serve it, links to schools, elected officials and nearest post office and fire station. The site also provides links to tax information about the property and satellite pictures.
The logo and website are an effort to respond to citizen surveys that say residents want better communication with county government, Hanson said.
Programming was done in-house by the county. But it did spend $45,000 on the focus groups and testing of the site by Summit Marketing in Lenexa.