St. John website gets new look

Reserve man led much-needed revamp

By Lolly Bowean, The Times Picayune

For a year, St. John the Baptist Parish’s official website had been stuck in the past, publicizing a set of elected and appointed officials long gone from office.

But recently the parish got a brand new website, complete with links to pages of information about parish government, businesses, schools and community organizations.

It also got an updated listing of the people elected to run the parish.

The new site, still located at www.stjohnla.org, comes thanks to a citizen who volunteered to help bring the site up to date. Charles Daigle of Reserve recently read about the problems the parish was having with its website and decided to lend a hand. “I didn’t like seeing the parish getting a black eye for something I could help improve,” he said. “I was basically trying to help them out.”

Daigle, 43, works at a printing company in Reserve and has been designing and building websites for three years. Not only did he want to help the parish, but also said the experience would help build his portfolio.

“Two weeks ago I started doing research on what government websites should look like,” he said. “Then it was spending time to design what I thought was a functional way to navigate the site.”

When they began trying to have the site updated, parish officials found themselves in a bit of a bind. For four months they tried unsuccessfully to reach their webmaster.

Daigle used the internet to find the webmaster and gain access to the site.

Now the site has a new look and feel, and parish officials said soon it will allow users to email their public officials.

We hope to have some interactive things in the site,” said Chris Guidry, chief administrative assistant to St. John Parish President Nickie Monica. “It’s going to be a great thing”.

For Daigle, building websites is mainly a hobby, but he said he’d like to work as the parish’s webmaster.

“In the best-case scenario they will give me a job,” he said. “But for now, it’s just about my portfolio and to display what I’ve learned in the past few years.