Well, insofar as it exists, we guess it’s better.
You may recall, over the summer, we told you that the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office was lacking a website. We labeled this office an embarrassment at this time, citing their inability to put together a simple website, considering they have an annual budget of $14M. True, this office experienced a transition this year, with a new sheriff elected after our last sheriff retired “by choice” and “not in disgrace.” But for months and months, this was all you saw on the sheriff’s site:
We’re pleased to tell you that the Sheriff’s Office has indeed launched a new website, and it looks to have been built by 2001’s finest web designers. Here are a couple of sample screen shots:
The site’s look isn’t all that’s outdated. The information is, too! If you want to get lists of properties that went to sheriff’s sale in 2012, you’re all set. And if you want to know the dates of the sales in January, that info is there as well (but not the property lists, heaven forbid). In addition, the results of a few arbitrarily chosen sales are listed, but that’s about it.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the site is the organization of the property information for different sheriff’s sales. In a perfect world, this information would be seamlessly integrated into the website, with the potential to download easily into a spreadsheet program to parse and organize as desired. Instead, the data for the different sales are posted in different formats for each sale, all in PDF form, making the organization and analysis process aggravating at best.
Why did it take almost a year for a new website to launch? Why is it nearly impossible to find this new website in a Google search? Why is transparency so difficult for this office?
These questions and many others, to be answered… never.