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COUNTY CREATES TOURIST AND HISTORIC
LANDMARKS ONLINE MAP AND DATABASE
Helps Encourage Tourism By Making It Easier to Find Macoupin’s Points of Interest
County News: June 30, 2021
Carlinville – Macoupin County has upgraded it’s historic landmarks and places of interest website, and it’s asking for the public to help.
When the county first started their website over ten years ago, they created a list of sites to see or things to do around the county as a way to promote Macoupin as a great place to live and visit. Over the years though, the list has grown static and technology has changed.
Macoupin County Clerk Pete Duncan added to the MacoupinDirectory.com website a tourist spot category. By adding in historic landmarks and places of interest in the database, this lets visitors search either by name or location of what they can find here in Macoupin.
“Our county is well-known for Route 66, Mother Jones, and the Million Dollar Courthouse,” said Duncan. “But all around the county, we have so many historic landmarks, places of interest, as well as hidden treasures. Whether someone lives here now, is thinking of moving in, or just visiting, every community in Macoupin has something to offer and to be proud of for our rich and storied history.”
The MacoupinDirectory.com site will allow any points of interest or landmarks to display their contact information, a short description of their services, as well as a picture of the location. The information then is fully searchable on the website to allow for users to quickly find what they are looking for instead of manually searching through hundreds of webpages or entries on a list. Macoupin Directory also allows you to search by your location and find what is near you. “A lot of times, people don’t realize all Macoupin has to offer even just right around the corner. Hopefully, this directory will let more people see things to do or see on a free weekend or a staycation as well as any future tourists interested in our area,” Duncan said.
Any entity interested in having their information listed just needs to visit the site and click the ‘Add My Information’ button in the upper right-hand corner. Completed applications will then be emailed to the County Clerk’s office to be placed on the site.
Anyone with questions should feel free to contact the Macoupin County Clerk’s office at (217) 854-3214 ext 918 or email [email protected].
COUNTY LAUNCHES FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES
County News: May 30, 2021
Carlinville – Macoupin County Clerk Pete Duncan recently launched a new online database for the over 700 Statements of Economic Interests filed by elected officials and public employees in Macoupin County. The website is part Duncan’s ongoing effort to increase transparency and shed light on how government works.
“We’ve moved from an old-fashioned paper system to online filing and a searchable website in order to make these public disclosure statements more accessible to taxpayers,” Duncan said.
The Illinois Constitution and Illinois Governmental Ethics Act requires elected officials and high-ranking public servants to annually answer an eight-question disclosure filing, known as a Statement of Economic Interest (SEI). The questions and format remain virtually unchanged since 1972.
Every December, nearly 100 units of government – from municipalities to park boards – submit their lists of filers to the Macoupin County Clerk’s office. The Clerk’s office then notifies filers they must fill out and return an SEI by the May 1 deadline.
This year, Macoupin County transitioned from paper filings stored in a file cabinet being the only way the public could see them to all responses being available and searchable.
Users can search for information several ways:
• By a filer’s name;
• By the agency name, such as “Carlinville School District”;
• By an agency dropdown menu;
• By those who answered any question or a specific question.
After selecting a search method, users will be able to open a filer’s statement or download all results to an Excel spreadsheet.
Duncan said the database and website allow for greater analysis of the ethics statements than ever before.
For example, only 51 filers provided an answer (other than “Not Applicable”) to at least one SEI question, or just 7 percent of the over 700 filers required to submit an SEI. The question that received the most answers (37) was Question 7, which asks if the filer was employed by another unit of government.
Duncan believes the confusing, vague questions are in part to blame for weak disclosure. “It’s beyond time the state update these forms to ask better questions that prompt real answers,” Duncan said. “While the current forms might not have a lot of information for those reviewing them to consider, having them available online does make it easier to hold public officials accountable.”
Duncan said the site would be used this fall for 2022 filings to contact the units of government to update their list of filers more often via email, cutting down on snail mail and phone calls, cutting down on postage and printing costs.
Those interested in visiting the database can visit www.macoupincountyclerk.com and select ‘Statement of Economic Interest’ from the ‘Public Filings’ menu.
COUNTY HELPS TO NAVIGATE RED TAPE BY
LAUNCHING LICENSE AND PERMIT HUB
County News: April 30, 2021
Carlinville – At the direction of the Macoupin County Board, the county’s website now has a single page for information and applications for any licenses and permits a county office may issue.
While the number of licenses and permits may not be large, knowing which office to apply for one can be confusing for a business or homeowner. In an effort to cut through the red tape hurdle of applying for one, the County Board directed County Clerk Pete Duncan to work with all officials and department heads to create this one-stop shop for any prospective licensees.
“We all know sometimes government can be confusing in trying to figure out what you need and where to get it,” Duncan said. “By giving taxpayers, business owners, and home builders one single place to visit to see what license or permit they may need and where to get it, Macoupin is finding ways to provide better, smarter service.”
The hub lists all permits and licenses the county issues, gives a short description of who may need to apply for it, lists any fees, and provides either a paper or online application for those who need it to complete and return to the issuing office. The hub also specifies if the license or permit applies to everyone in the county or just those who do not live within city limits.
“This page gives anyone who might need a license or permit from the county all of the information they would need to get started and apply,” Duncan said. “And in some cases, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete the process from start to finish. In the world today where we can order just about anything with the click of a button on our phones, government has to continue to do more to provide that same level of service.”
Those looking for the hub can visit http://macoupincountyil.gov/permits.htm or click the ‘Licenses, Permits, & Zoning Info’ button on the county home page.
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