Government, News, Washington County

Washington County unveils new website

Washington County’s government has a new website, unveiled officially to the public Monday.

“This intensive effort to update and streamline the County website has been underway for over two years and I’m extremely pleased with the results,” Washington County Board Chair Kathryn Harrington said in a statement. “This is a huge accomplishment that has allowed us to transform the website into a digital gateway to a wide variety of public services and information.”

See for yourself:

The county said that their new website is intended to provide several improvements. 

Designed to be more aesthetically pleasing and readable, the website is now better geared for viewing on a mobile device. 

Other changes include what the county described as more efficient uses of information technology and task-based tools that let people get their business done with the county more quickly. 

Search has been improved as well.

The new design comes with a new URL and email extension.

Gone are the days of stumbling over the phrase “co dot Washington dot O R dot U S” when dispersing a county email address; now, it’s the simpler “” To reach county staff by email, simply type their name followed by “”

The use of a .gov address is restricted to legitimate U.S.-based government organizations, who must prove to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) that they are who they say they are. Federal policy dictates that counties can use the domain, if they follow some rules. 

“Domain names must be globally unique, and counties are required to include the two-letter state abbreviation as well as the word “county” in the domain name,” a county staff agenda item during the Washington County Board of Commissioners Nov. 30 2021 meeting read. 

During that same meeting, staff said that the target date for the new website was originally April 4, 2022, a date the county missed by nearly six months. 

The county said that the new site was redesigned with input from a variety of sources, including surveys of website users and county staff, listening sessions and focus groups with community groups and organizations with a specific cultural focus. 

Those with feedback on the new site were encouraged to contact the project team with suggestions.

Three ways county residents can use the Washington County website

1. Navigate code enforcement issues

An expandable menu shows options ranging from weed and noise violations to homeless encampments to chronic nuisance properties, with resources on reporting, contacting public officials, and more. 

2. Report a pothole or a “large dead animal” 

This is a simple form that is sent to the county’s Land Use and Transportation department, and can be used to report a pothole, major roadkill such as a deer or elk that’s obstructing traffic, a grading issue, and more. 

3. File a public records request

While most public records requests in the county fall under uses by the construction and the legal industry, regular citizens can request all sorts of information from government bodies. Washington County has a robust public records system that allows for requests of the county and its various departments, as well as the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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