Website News !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is your website committee up to?
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This space will be used to provide updates on the activities of the GLPA Website and Technology Committee  

Following the May 2015 launch of the new web site the Web Site Committee has been meeting frequently to improve content and optimize the portal for all interested parties.  The overall design is to provide as much information as possible in an unrestricted manner but to also provide restricted access to GLPA Membership for issues that pertain only to Groton Long Point homeowners.   Homeowners may sign in with their user ID and password to access the latter information.  Assistance regarding IDs and login procedures may be obtained from Sue at the GLPA office during business hours.  Alternately you may send an email to glpa.office@grotonlongpointassociation.org.

We will use this space to provide periodic updates on what the Website Committee is working on.  We welcome input from Association Members and encourage you to visit  the site often for updates.  

May 18, 2017

  •  Attendees were Andrea Frickman, Barbara Melanson, Cal Crouch, and Mark White.
  • The Committee discussed the various shortcomings of the domain-based email soluiton including the challenge of integrating it with other email solutions such as Outlook, and iPhone email.   Mark will obtain and provide the technical assistance documentation available from Register.com.
  • The Committee discussed the challenge of dealing with "islands of data" that currently need to be manually synchronized (primary Access db, parking permits, water billing, QuickBooks, etc.)  It is the opinion of the Committee that a "trusted source" central database, integrated with a modern web portal and linked to QuickBooks would be a benefit to GPLA office operations and the general GLPA membership.
  • Various membership and homeowner association solutions were reviewed over the preceeding months.   It appears that MemberLeap would be a good fit for us if it can be appropriately customized.  It offers a good database solution based around membership, includes web portal intetgration, and can be linked to QuickBooks.
  • Committee members will try to explore what other similar beach associations are using (e.g, Black Point.)
  • The Committee agreed to draft a requirements document to be reviewed next week.  Following that a meeting would be scheduled with MemberLeap.   Mark will draft the website requirements and Andrea will draft the database requirements.
  • The initial cost estimate for a MemberLeap soluion would be:
    • Set up: $3,500 - $4,000 one time charge   (Includes Quickbooks Interface)
    • Maintenance and Support:  $2,000 / year (includes $25/month for QuickBooks synch) The current VTS yearly support charge of $1,500 is paid through 1Q18.
  • The next meeting will be Friday May 26 at 8AM in the Dodd Room.

 

March 2017

  • The Committee met to discuss how to move forward with a better solution that integrates our database needs with our website needs.  It has become obvious that the lack of an integrated solution is an obstacle to meeting the perceived future needs of the Association.
  • The Committee discussed various alternatives, including MemberClicks and MemberLeap, the latter being a solution that holds some promise. 
  • Any change to vendor from the current solution would incur  a one time set up charge.
  • The Committee decided it would be best to build a new requirements document that represents the needs and desires of the current Board of Directors and other associated users of the current database and web site (e.g. Water Commission, Police Department, bookkeepers, etc.) 
  • Cal has agreed to put together a draft of a requirements document for distribution to the Board at their next meeting on April 5, 2017.

 

October / November 2016

  • The GLPA Ordinances are now selectable from the top blue menu bar of both the primary home page and the Police Department home page.
  • The GLP Ordinances have been broken up into three sections (plus a TOC) to make it easier for people to locate specific ordinances.
  • Calvin Crouch has been given edit authority.

September 2, 2016 

  • Members present :  Mark White, Barbara Melanson, Cal Crouch.  Staff present: Sue Birge.
  • Vendor/Contractor/Contract insurance requirements have been added to the website. 
  • All forms related to Building and Zoning are now available as fillable-PDF files.  These will still need to be printed and brought in to the office in person.  Directions to do so will appear on a page before the document appears (rather than in the body of the form.) 
  • A citizen requested that we create a way to contact all of the members of the Board with one selection.  A new webform was created for this purpose. 
  • The GLPA Legal Committee recommended removing the sentence in the home page description of GLPA that referred to GLPA as being a "subdivision."  The sentence was removed. It was also noted that the web site should use the formal name of GLP whenever possible, that being: "The Groton Long Point Association, Incorporated."  The Website Committee would like the Legal Committee to review the entire site for any further suggestions. 
  • Even though the Board of Directors approved the creation of the Website and Technology Committee, the Committee will not have such formal standing until the Bylaws are ammended to reflect the new committee.  The Board will direct the Bylaws Committee to take the appropriate action to put this change before the Association membership. 
  • The Committee discussed the need to move ahead with a database solution that would address all the needs of the Association.  Currently there a several "islands of data:"   The immediate objective of deploying a new database would be to sunset the old one and provide a platform for future functions (such as tennis membership management.)  The Committee agree to continue to look into the feasibility of using Salesforce.com for this purpose. 
  • The email ID for Facilites has been forwarded to Mike Flynn.  A new email ID for Long Range Planning (LRP@) has been set up for Rick Norris. 

‚ÄčAugust 3, 2016  -  Board of Directors Meeeting

  • ‚ÄčAt this meeting the GLPA Board of Directors approved the creation of a permanent standing committee to be called the Website and Technology Committee.  The President will nominate members to this committee for approval by the Board.  A change to the Bylaws will be needed to reflect the decision of the Board.

July 29, 2016   -  All members present

  • Directors and officers should be using their domain-based email addresses for official GLPA business.  It is inappropriate for directors and officers to be using their place of business/work email for GLPA correspondance, especially for financial issues.  The Facilities email ID will be forwarded to Mike Flynn per his request.  A new Long Range Planning ID (LRP@) will be created for Rick Norris.
  • The Committee reviewed the functionality of SalesForce (SF) with a view toward GLPA organizational needs.  
  • Last week the Committee did a test of a link between SF and the GLPA website by creating a test form (Building Permit) in SF, exporting the HTML to our web hosting vendor (VTS,) who in turn used the HTML to create a fillable form presented at our website.  That creation process worked well although tthe HTML will need to be edited to make the form look better.   An additional test was done to fill out the form and send it back to SF.  This was also a success.  Mark will follow up with VTS to understand where and how the HTML may be edited. 
  • The next test will be Tennis Membership form.  This will be a challenge due to restriction about who will be authorized to fill in the form (GLPA Members, residents, renters) and how to accept credit card charges (a function that will be needed for other business processes.)
  • The Committee will bring a proposal to the Board to request that our committee be formally established as a permanent standing committee to be called the "Website and Technology Committee."  We reviewed a draft statement for the composition and function of the committee. 
  • There have been two requests in the last week from third parties requesting that we provide a link on our GLPA website to their third party site.  The Committee's position on this is that this would only be recommended when such linkage would be a direct benefit to our constituents (e.g. the link to the Mystic Chamber of Commerce.)  The Committee will seek Board approval for any such links to be added in the future. 

 

 

July 22, 2016

Mel Hannigan and Calvin Crouch have joined the Web Site Committee.  This meeting was attended by Mel, Mark, Sue and Barbara. 

The domain email addresses for Vice President, Parks and Recreation, and Public Safety have been updated to reflect the new Board members. The President has requested that a new position of Long Range Planning be created. (Note that the Bylaws do, in fact, provide for this position.)  The new ID will be LRP@grotonlongpointassociaton.org.  The Committee also discussed the need for additional IDs for GLPA-CPA and GLPA-CRM.  

The Committee is putting together statements of committee composition and function for the purpose of formalizing the Committee in the GLPA Bylaws. 

Mel gave a demo of SalesForce.com, a cloud database solution that may be of great benefit to the GLPA Association.   SalesForce (SF) could serve as a back end database repository that would link the the current (front end) web site we have. The team will continue with the trial licence that Mel has to do some proof of concept exercises. 

April 28, 2016

  • All the tasks described below regarding generic IDs and emails have been completed:
    • Created generic USER IDs in website to match Register.com email addresses
    • Notified all generic email ID owners that their ID is now published and needs to be monitored.
    • Deleted big blue button pointing to (old) contact spreadsheet.
    • Updated email for "Contact Us" (etc) to point to glpa.office@grotonlongpointassociation.org
    • Created an email address for the Conservation Commission:  conservation@grotonlongpointassociation.org
    •  

April 15, 2016

  • Discussed note from VTS Support (Steve Lester) regarding the Public/Private nature of our Committees and Commissions.  Members who sign in can see minutes posted for the various Committees and Commissions. The Zoning Commission page is entirely Private.  We've decided to leave the structure as is, although, many of the pages still are in need of content development.
  • Access to the listing of the Board of Directors is currently password protected (i.e.. it is on the private side of the web site.)   This will be changed to make that basic listing public. 
  • We are in the process of populating the new generic email addresses based on the GrotonLongPointAssociation.org domain.    A User ID needs to be set up for each with the associated email address.  That email address then can be specified as the contact for the actual person filling the roll.  For example, we set up a User ID of PRESIDENT with the email of president@GrotonLongPointAssociation.com and then linked that ID and email to Mike Flynn.  This needs to be done for the rest of the Board members and officers. 
  • We will offer the Conservation Commission the use of one of the new domain based email IDs too.
  • Once this is set up there will be no longer a need to point people to the Contact spreadsheet that contains personal email addresses and cell phones.

April 1, 2016

  • Obtained generic email addresses from Register.com for all officers and directors.  These are based on the domain grotonlongpointassociation.org.  A bundle of 25 available addresses were purchased for a period of 10 years. These new email addresses will be used on this GLP web site as the email contact for the officer or director.  The registration for the grotonlongpointassociation.org domain name was also extended for a period of 10 years. 
  • In order to make the Register.com email work with our VTS web hosting the following DNS information was required (provided by Register.com to VTS)
    • C-name left field = mail
    • C-name right field = webmail07.register.com
    • MX Record = MX07.register.com
    • Priority = 10 (or high)
    • IP Address = 205.178.149.7
  • The GLPA Board has approved all of the various commission and committee memberships.  The members will be listed on this Web Site in their respective committee but without contact information.  

December 11 & 18, 2015

  • Continued work of converting B&Z forms to electronic versions. Created placeholder document for all of them that we intend to convert.  See B&Z Forms. 
  • Removed Subscription/Notification button from primary home page, and moved it to the Association Member Access.
  • Continued work on establishing accurate homeowner membership records to allow members to access restricted content (including the Notification/Subscription feature.) 
  • Added another photo to main homepage banner.  Added photo for Public Works page.
  • Added web site Disclaimer text.

December 04, 2015

  • Started a Persistent Link (left column) under Building and Zoning for Forms.
  • Deployed fillable-PDF form for general Building Permit (in the new Forms page.)
  • Reviewed form requirements for Zoning Application with Chuck Canavan.
  • Started a Web Editing Persistent link to collect procedures for web site updates
  • Updated a new GLPA Member record to fully authorize it.
  • Discontinued former Register.com web site (retained domain name.) 
  • Updated Subscription/Notification user guidance text. 

November 18, 2015

Recent Web Site Committee activity includes:

  • Updating the Ordinances as approved by the Association.
  • Ensuring pointers to the Ordinances are the same for the GLPA pages and GLP Police Dept.
  • Added Mark White as an authorized owner of our Register.com domain name (grotonlongpointassociation.org.) Other owners include Sue Birge and Dave McBride.
  • Investigating email addresses for Board members and officers
  • Investigating fillable PDF forms to use for Building and Zoning