Articles

Boston's Official Record Is Now Online

Boston.gov will now be home to the official record for the city's public meetings, hearings and notices.

by / December 5, 2016
Boston's official public record before and after the Web launch. Boston.Gov, Images edited, put together.

In a move reminiscent of their famous tea party, Boston is chucking out its old cork bulletin board into the harbor (metaphorically, at least).

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Dec. 2 that all public meeting information would now be posted online at Boston.gov/public-notices. Residents will have easier access to information on public meetings, hearings and notices while saving taxpayer money by not having to print out daily schedules and manually switch out information.

For decades, a physical bulletin board with thumbtacks and pushpins galore was located in City Hall, serving as an official source for city information. Boston partnered with the state attorney general and opted to post information on Boston.gov as the official record. The site is optimized for mobile use, making it easier for families and individuals who increasingly rely on mobile phones as their sole Internet-connected device.

For those special Bostonians who hate the Internet and are opposed to anything, a digital display lives where the bulletin board used to hang.

"I am proud we are taking this step to increase transparency and make it easier for residents to access information about public meetings," Walsh said in a press release. "I firmly believe that increasing accessibility will boost civic engagement and improve our political processes."

This project comes weeks after the city announced it was making its Boston.gov website open source. Both projects were spearheaded by the city's Department of Innovation and Technology.