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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County to delay start of new notification system

Updated: Apr 6

By Charlene Sims, info@linncountyjournal.com


MOUND CITY – Linn County’s roll-out of its new notification system will be delayed until after all of the policy issues are worked out. The county commissioner made that decision follow a half-hour discussion with Information Technology (IT) director Chris Martin on policies and procedure on Monday, March 4.


Martin had explained to the commissioners the different type of categories that people could sign up to receive information about. They included meeting notification, county events, road conditions, construction information, and urgent county notifications. He said more can be added.


Martin stressed, though, that this system was not for emergency notification. The county already has an emergency notification system through Everbridge, which residents can sign up for through the emergency management department.


He also stressed that everything in the system is voluntary and up to the consumer to decide what notifications they receive. When policies are completed for the system roll-out there will be notifications in the newspapers, the county website and Facebook page for people to contact. He said that people will be able to text to sign up and there will even be QR codes they can use to sign up.


Discussion was held on who should be able to enter notifications into the system and whether a person should be designated to give approval of each notification. Martin said that would slow down the notification. But then again, many of the notifications would not be urgent, and some would even be weekly so there was no hurry about them. 


Commission Chair Jason Hightower’s first reaction was that someone would oversee the notifications and approve them before they were sent.


Commissioner Jim Johnson asked what would it hurt if everybody put out their own notifications with out having them checked.


“It’s just a notification system,” said Johnson.


Commissioner Danny McCullough said there might be some legal issue involved, depending on what was being put out. 


Discussion was held on the notifications that might come up from the obvious things like tax notice payment dates to manhunts in the Linn County Park. 


Martin said he could send out general notices like the tax notice dates but would not be able to target individual taxpayers.


More discussion was held on having all county phones registered with the system so that employees would receive notification of events like weather closings. 

 

Public Works Director Shaun West suggested having Linn County Park events like public fishing tournaments and even outages in certain loops put out on the notification system.


Martin also said that the system did have a polling component where people who had signed up could be polled. In addition, the system could be set up geographically to notify certain areas. Voters could be notified of what their voting locations were.


Other possibilities include water outages and train derailments.


Johnson said he thought the system should go ahead and go live.


“I don’t see why each department can’t do it themselves,” he said.


Martin had warned earlier of too much information going out and people either opting out or just not paying attention to it.


Sheriff Kevin Friend asked what the liability was to the county if something improper were sent out. He also was concerned that personnel might be subjected to more liability if policies and procedures were not set up correctly.


Johnson then said the county should hold off for a couple of weeks while department heads worked more on it.


Martin will check with the company and other users to see if he can get information on policies and procedures for the system.

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