Few previewed code online
Posting Marion’s proposed city code online resulted in extremely limited exposure to the general public.
According to Internet traffic monitoring firm Alexa.com, not only did Marion’s proposed city code receive very few viewers, but also those who did check it read an average of only two of the code’s more than 300 pages.
Viewership not just for Marion’s code but for all 34 city codes combined on a shared site run by a Wichita bond counsel firm caused the site to rank in 11,991,912th place globally with Alexa.
In comparison, the Marion County Record website ranked more than eight million places higher, at 2,780,892nd. The Hillsboro Free Press ranked 3,419,482nd. The Hillsboro Star-Journal, also published by the Record, ranked 5,097,768th.
The amount of traffic logged by Alexa, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, would be consistent with the code being accessed only by city hall employees and reporters. The numbers would include all accesses from smart phones and links off other sites.
According to the latest data from the Pew Research Internet Project, 48 percent of residents in communities Marion’s size do not have Internet access, and only 17 percent of people older than 65 go online. Those who do would have had to find the code manually by typing in its address or by following a link from another site. They could not have merely stumbled across it as part of their regular reading.
The city paid City Code Financial LLC a base price of $3,500 to assemble and post the code online and is scheduled to pay $1,250 additional annually to keep it up to date online.
Two years ago, legislation allowed the city to publish summaries rather than full texts of ordinances in newspapers and to instead post full texts online. In the first year of that program, the city reduced its total spending for public notices with its official newspaper, the Marion County Record, by $1,322.
— ERIC MEYER