By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
People emailing the staff of the City of Washington should now change the ending of the email to .gov, denoting a governmental entity, after an upgrade to the city?s email domain.
While previously the domain for city emails was .net, the addresses are changing. The first part of the emails will remain the same first initial and last name and the ending becoming @washingtoniowa.gov. City clerk Illa Earnest said that at this point people can still use the .net addresses and the email will still be delivered, although there have been some hiccups with this system recently, but for the most part it is working well.
?We have had the emails for a long time,? Earnest said. ?Someone thought it should be changed to .gov to make it more logical.?
The domain name ?gov? is a sponsored top-level domain in the Domain Name System of the Internet. The name is derived from the word ?government?, indicating its restricted use by government entities in the United States. The gov domain is administered by the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the United States federal government. The U.S. is the only country that has a government-specific top-level domain in addition to its country-code top-level domain. This is a result of the origins of the Internet as a U.S. federal government-sponsored research network. All governments in the U.S. were allowed to apply for delegations in gov after May 2012.
The upgrade is part of the city?s modernization of technology. Recently the Washington City Council also approved the creation of a new website for the city. The current City of Washington site had been put up in 2002.
City administrator Brent Hinson said when the new site is up, it would be much easier to use than the current site. He also said the new website would also be an official government website with the .gov Domain Name System indicating restricted use by government entities. The current site is located at www.washingtoniowa.net.
The content of the page is good, Hinson said, but the city has decided to change the format significantly. He said the current website is from a very basic template and the new site would allow easier access to some kinds of information. One example he gave is the city codes would be sorted by chapter, allowing people to go straight to the chapter of a code they want to research. He said the new website would resemble the City of Coralville?s site.
While the city had budgeted $5,000 this year for upgrades to the site, Hinson said the $5,000 cost of the new site would be spread out over three years. Currently, the city pays about $1,100 per year for its website. He said the council will vote on an agreement for the site and would discuss features for the site.
Earnest said the site is not complete yet, but would be as soon as the city could arrange it.
?It is a little slow,? Earnest said. ?It kind of got sidetracked for a time with some of the other things going on. It has a high priority but we have been swamped with other stuff. We?ll get back to it as soon as we can.?