Last week I told you about the Chamber’s new Community Guide and the information it offers visitors, new and longtime residents. This week’s subject is another redesign of a great communication tool – our county government website.

The address, lawrencecountytn.gov, is the same, but you will notice the difference right away. New typography, graphics, and photographs give it a clean, crisp feel, and generous white space between sections makes everything stand out.

One of the first things you’ll see is a “Welcome,” and “How can we help you?” That’s because the emphasis is on you, our customer, and making your life simpler. Shortcuts from the home page take you directly to pages where you can renew car tags, pay court fines, tickets, property tax, and solid waste bills; find ways to get involved in the community; and get contact information for your county commissioner.

My assistant Kristin Burdette spent a lot of time with our department heads to learn the questions they’re asked most often. With their help, many of the answers are now online. Need a passport? Look under the menu item “County Services” to learn how to get one. If you need a burn permit, marriage or business license, those details are offered as well.

Delve a bit deeper under the “Government” menu option to learn what each department does and access its specific services. A section about our court system, for example, provides a link to the Lawrence County Online Court Records System and instructions about how to look up a court date, pay a fine or ticket, or look up a criminal record. 

The Trustee’s page answers questions about discounts to the elderly and people with disabilities, including veterans. The Property Assessor’s page allows you to view land parcels throughout the county and your own property appraisal card. You can search our Library’s collection from its department page, and click on links to the IRS, Tennessee State Library & Archives, and the Tennessee Electronic Library.

The website’s home page features trending topics in Lawrence County, including my weekly column. Those of you who follow our Facebook page will find a link to the website rather than the column itself each Wednesday. The website will include other news stories as well, reserving Facebook for brief announcements and short, entertaining features.

Information about some of the great events and destinations our community offers is included on the home page. Watch for this and our trending topics to change frequently, another reason to bookmark our website in your browser.

Please take advantage of the many conveniences our website offers you. This column may seem like a long list of examples from it, but I’ve only scratched the surface. I urge you to explore and learn how we, through it, can help you.

~ from the desk of County Executive T.R. Williams