As Aurora anticipates a new corporate website launch this month the impact on the Heritage components of said site are completely unknown.
Given that other advisory committees have acknowledged this pending change and have provided feedback I’m puzzled at the lackadaisical attitude on behalf of the town’s heritage planning manager with respect to web presence in general and decided to delegate on the matter at last night’s committee meeting.
One issue I brought forward at the beginning of this year was that The Aurora Register of Properties of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest was removed from the town website without notice and in its place was a notice to say it was being updated.
I posted on this previously here: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/the-updating-game/
So the register has been returned to the town’s website under the heading of resources on the landing page here: http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/index.aspx?CategoryID=72&lang=en-CA however it is completely absent from the section dedicated to it here: http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/index.aspx?ArticleID=307&lang=en-CA
If staff is incapable of managing this rather simple matter of housekeeping it peaked my curiosity as to how the rest of it is, or is not being managed.
The left side menu of the town’s current site looks like this:
The addition of “Aurora Culture” and “Heritage” to this menu is a recent addition, here’s the menu from a snapshot taken back in 2012:
So changes are being made, but what I can’t figure out who is driving them and why such a significant amount of pages that were once accessible from the website have vanished.
Okay, to be fair they haven’t vanished, they are still live and populate through simple Google searches there are inexplicably no direct links to access them from the town’s website.
For example The Aurora Armouries @ 89 Mosley Street has a live page at:
The photo does not capture the designation plaque and the description says it is in use and home of the Rangers.
That is because the page was last updated Updated 20/04/05.
Considering the Armouries were designated as recently as a month ago and that the Duke of York is confirmed to visit Aurora early next month why is it that updates are not being made to this page?
Well it doesn’t look like updates are being made to any pages.
Here’s the Carpenter House:
Also last updated in 2004.
If we wind the clock backwards a decade we see that in the minutes from June 15th, 2004 HAC (http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/app/wa/mediaEntry?mediaEntryId=47666 ) it states that a draft Aurora Heritage Web Site was received.
Okay so it was received but what exactly has staff done to maintain the web presence since 2004?
It appears that this resource was removed from the town’s website sometime after 2009: https://web.archive.org/web/20090505010110/http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/index_e.aspx?ArticleID=323 Yet there is no council or committee motion that I can see that would have resulted in this removal.
The town’s strategic plan speaks to principles of innovation and sustainability.
Like the HAC’s Architectural Salvage program there is no evidence of these in the town’s Heritage web presence.
Regardless of a new website launch it appears the committee needs a web audit of their materials so they can begin the process of picking up the pieces of another huge mess.