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CITY DECIDES TO CUT OFF ELECTRONIC BULLETIN BOARD.

Byline: Kevin F. Sherry Daily News Staff Writer

On Monday, the Thousand Oaks electronic bulletin board will become a victim of better technology.

The bulletin board system will be discontinued that day. It allowed anyone with a computer and modem to dial into the city and browse the city municipal code or send a message to the mayor.

But now the city's text-only system has succumbed to the flashy colors and graphics capabilities of the World Wide Web. The Thousand Oaks Web site (http://www.ci.thousand-oaks.ca.us) has been up and running since March, yet already has surpassed the electronic bulletin board in the types and amount of information offered.

Web sites are replacing electronic bulletin boards the same way CDs replaced albums, said Jana Covell, the city's media services coordinator.

``It's just the Internet technology passing the bulletin board by,'' Covell said.

Earlier this year, the city took a survey of users of the electronic bulletin board and found that the majority of them preferred to use the World Wide Web to access the same information.

The bulletin board system has ``been pretty well used by residents,'' Covell said. ``This is a very computer-literate city.''

Like the bulletin board, the Web site offers browsers a basic overview of the city and provides listings for different departments. But because of the better technology, the Web site can offer pictures, graphics, maps and links to other area sites, such as those for libraries and schools.

People who dial in can read minutes of council meetings on line. The site also will feature council meeting agendas, starting with the Tuesday meeting.

The Web page has campaign statements from candidates for the Nov. 4 recall election against Councilwoman Elois Zeanah. And ticket holders for events at the Civic Arts Plaza can even call up a seating chart.

``We hope someday to get to the point where people can purchase tickets over the Internet site,'' Covell said.

Officials also envision a day when people can pay water bills and apply for building permits through their computers.

The Thousand Oaks bulletin board system has been up and running since October 1994 and has made 9,000 individual connections, said Sharon Meyer, an administrative assistant with the city who worked as the systems operator for the service.

Comparatively, since the city's Web page went on line in March, ``we had over 3,000 hits when I looked the other day,'' Covell said.

The Web site also has proved more efficient. With the bulletin board, users would send mail to Meyer, who then forwarded the message to the city department that could provide an answer.

``I felt like the Sears Answer Woman sometimes,'' Meyer said.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 30, 1997
Words:450
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