“The Boro*” is a news and information webpage focused on Mount Pocono.
It actually began life as a yet-unpublished redesign of the official webpage of the Borough of Mount Pocono, which Council Member Tom Ford had been developing, free of charge, for the Borough. Tom had been appointed by the Council to take over Webmaster duties, for which he waived the fee. He also purchased updates of the programs used by the website from his own funds -- saving the Borough about $1,200 a year.
While webmaster, Tom actively promoted the website and included a great deal of helpful information for Borough residents, businesses, and those thinking of moving their families or businesses to the Borough. He integrated social media in the publicity for the Borough page and encouraged the community to contribute and use the pages. As a result, activity on the website (measured by daily separate views) increased TWENTY -- yes, 20 -- fold, and subscriptions to the website posts doubled.
Having designed and run half a dozen active sites, for businesses and organizations, Tom saw ways to improve the effectiveness of the website. As a member of council, his goal has been to increase the flow of information from the Borough to the public, and to simultaneously increase the interaction between the public and the Borough.
Those goals reflect his approach to the council position and philosophy of what makes a good local government -- “be useful, be open, and engage”.
So he began working, on and off, on a total redesign of the official Borough page. After about a year of improving the utility of the official website, and several months into a re-design, Interim Mayor Penn, Council members Claudette Williams & Aida Montanez, together with resident/council candidate Tom Neville, concocted a smear campaign against Tom as webmaster. This culminated in their removing him as webmaster (at a meeting at which they knew he wouldn’t be able to attend, and to pay someone to do a decidedly unenthusiastic job. Here you can read more about their Governing by Spite. (By the way, Tom still awaits any official notice of his removal as webmaster. After doing this behind his back, they lacked any grace and merely cut off his access without notice.)
With a new website nearly ready to go, Tom decided not to allow all of that work to go to waste. The re-design was converted to an independent news & information page. Thus was born The Boro*
Rogue Operators LLC owns The Boro, and Tom edits the site, which has about half a dozen independent contributing writers (all volunteers), and about two dozen independent sources contributing information, events, and news, which are then added to the site.
We have a robust community calendar, are working on our community directory, and have plans for other pages of interest to residents, businesses, visitors, and potential residents, businesses, & visitors.
The goal of The Boro* is to be a comprehensive utility for all segments of the Mount Pocono community and a factor in the continued growth and revitalization of the town. So far, it looks like we are succeeding. Activity on the website is several hundred (not a typo) times that of the Borough page, and in just a couple of months, our subscriber list is double what the Borough had when they dumped Tom.
Watch for our print publication, planned for March 2020. Initially we expect a 4 to 8 page monthly tabloid, which will be delivered to every residence and business in the Borough.