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Ballston to use newsletter, Web to reach residents

Despite a misunderstanding between the Ballston Town Supervisor Patti Southworth and Council Member Tim Szczepaniak over the direction of the town newsletter, residents can expect to see the finished product in March after it is approved by the council.

This remains an informational newsletter, said Southworth.

She said the newsletter is meant to relay information to town residents, and should not be used as a platform.

"The newsletter is a great tool," said Mary Beth Hynes, who came up with the plan to distribute a town newsletter. "I'm happy to see other board members pitching in and working together on the newsletter."

Another vehicle of communication that the town has been busy working to improve is the town's Web site.

"Communication is very important and you have to do it in several different ways," Hynes said.

The news section of the town Web site was recently updated to include information about the town's farmer's market, and the need for volunteers to help install a playground at the Ballston Area Community Center.

Town residents are also able to access the preliminary agenda for the town council meeting on the Web site.

"I think it's just a big plus for town residents," said Southworth.

The first agenda was posted for the council's Tuesday, Feb. 26, special/agenda meeting.

In an organizational resolution adopted Thursday, Jan. 3, the council voted to post preliminary town council meeting agendas on the town's Web site five days before scheduled council meetings.

A new Web site is also in the works, and should be launched by spring according to Southworth. The town council is in the process of reviewing proposals for the new Web site.

"Hopefully, it will allow us to provide more open government," said Southworth of the measures taken by the council to improve communication.

The Web site is now updated by Deputy Town Clerk Carol Shemo, in addition to her other clerical and managerial duties.

"I think this town should be very proud of its employees, and the work they do," Southworth said.

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