Galloway Councilman Concerned With Attaching Cost to Website Upgrade

The RFP on the township's current website calls for proposals no greater than $10,000. Councilman Jim McElwee would rather the township not attach a price.

Galloway Councilman Jim McElwee is happy to see the township is redesigning its website to meet state standards, but doesn’t agree with an RFP on the website setting a price limit at $10,000.

“We should just ask for blind quotes,” McElwee said.

“I don’t want to get responses for $40,000-$50,000,” Township Manager Arch Liston said. “ … We may get a bid from someone for $3,000 that’s much better than a bid from someone for $10,000. I don’t expect to spend $10,000.”

McElwee doesn’t expect to see too many bids below $9,000. He felt the township could’ve gone to someone in Galloway to redesign the website, rather than put out an RFP.

He pointed to Joanna Westcott, from the Galloway Township School Disrrict, as an example of someone from the community who could’ve been used.

“She’s on maternity leave, but I’m sure she could do that from her home,” McElwee said.

Westcott was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Annette Giaquinto indicated the school district has worked with the township on some technological issues in the past, but no one in the district would be available to help at this point in  time.

“They’re public funds,” Mayor Don Purdy said. “We need to have accountability. I agree with (McElwee) on the amount of money, but it will ultimately be up to the governing body to make that decision.”

For the past few years, the township has discussed updating its website to be in compliance with state standards. 

“I love the idea of going to an outside source,” Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola said. “Doing it from the inside wasn’t working, and we had to get the website up-to-date. Now we can post things directly to the website and we can cut down on OPRA requests and some of the other things. People can just go right on the site and find the information they’re looking for.”

Liston said the designer could also teach the people within the township how to maintain the site.

In addition to meeting state standards, Liston said an improved website could also go a long way in helping to attract economic development.

“You’re always looking to grab people’s eyes,” Liston said. “You want a website that’s modern and up-to-date. You want something that looks good. If you don’t have a modern website, people are going to take a look at it and think your community’s not up-to-date.”

Responses are due back to the township by March 15. The FRP appears on the township’s website as follows:

The Township of Galloway is requesting quotation for the redesign of www.gtnj.org, which is the Official Website of Galloway Township.

Amount not to exceed $10,000 for a fullservice website to provide information and documents to the public at large.

The criteria for choosing the vendor shall be:

1. Experience in website design in a government or business environment.

2. Ease of use of website.

3. Ability of trained employees to upload information as required to provide documents to the public.(pdf.)

4. Fully implement design and information on the web.

5. Ability to work with employees and elected officials on design.

6. Five(5) examples of designs presently in operation.

7. Time frame of completion.

Any question may be submitted to Arch Liston, Township Manager at Aliston@gtnj.org

Deadline for submittal will be March 15, 2013.

Jim McElwee February 28, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Shawn G. To be fair I should have checked with Superintendent Giaguinto before mentioning this idea to council. Mrs. Westcott is on leave and unavailable presently. I have always received cooperation from Dr. Giaquinto and will follow up with her on alternative possible solutions.
JerseyDevil February 28, 2013 at 05:23 PM
This is long overdue and not something you want done by a novice IMHO. It's important for the Township to have a quality website that is functional and easy to use. There are many examples of awful websites out there and few examples of excellent websites. I hope the decision makers do the proper due diligence.
RDJC March 01, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Mrs. McGee if you are so smart maybe you should volunteer and build the web site.
Stan Walker March 01, 2013 at 01:06 AM
stockton.edu is quite a robust website and I would venture to say significantly more complex than what would be required for the township. Council, give Stockton a call.
HC March 27, 2013 at 03:33 AM
I agree with JerseyDevil and Jim McElwee. I've built quite a number of websites and I have 5 of my own running currently and I've spent about 8 years running a web design business, I wouldn't go any where near this site for the price demanded. Unless Galloway gets extremely lucky, setting a 10k limit on the price is going to ensure that the site is built by a hack. You will end up with an unprofessional hack of website, that will likely need to be redone by a professional eventually. The RFP alone shows me that the people involved do not understand what they are doing. Very important details are missing from the RFP. Is hosting of the website provided? Does Galloway have it's own server? What server type is it? If the server is outsourced, what tools are available? PHP, SQL? Would the website builder be responsible for fixing the DNS errors and problems with the current site? (gtnj.org incorrectly goes to the staff email website) There are so many questions. The content management system would be likely be more complex than you may think. Would posts and information to the site have to comply with State record retention standards, probably, and this would also add to the complexity of the site. I am all in favor of saving money, but I don't think you are going to save any money low balling the price of the website. If you can't afford a professionally built site, wait until you can afford it, otherwise you will likely have to pay for it twice.


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