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Task force gets sneak peek at new web portal

By Cathy Tallyn

Staff writer

 

(Friday, Nov. 20) A sneak peek at Rossmoor’s soon to be rolled out web portal was met with enthusiasm by the GRF Planning Committee’s new Ad Hoc Communications Task Force.

The new portal will make it easier for residents to sign up for Recreation’s ticketed events, such as movies, excursions and classes; golf course tee times; Fitness Center classes; and swimming pool reservations; as well as to submit requests to Mutual Operations’ Work Order Desk.

“It’s an amazing step forward,” said Dwight Walker, task force chairman.

“I think it’s wonderful,” added Steve Mico, a task force member.

The web portal will augment and update the current systems that are used, said Resident Services Director Jeff Matheson during the Nov. 16 meeting. “This is definitely a tool that will expand over time,” he added.

The plan is for the web portal to be in use by the end of the year, in time for the reopening of Peacock Hall for movies, if coronavirus health orders permit.

Residents will get step-by-step demonstrations and there will be a link on Rossmoor.com, Matheson said.

“It’s not just push a button on the website and you’re on your own,” he said.

The task force was given a short demonstration by Javier Roman, application support specialist, who worked on the design.

“Our No. 1 goal — probably the most important — is to make it easy to use,” Roman said.

The main advantage of the portal is that it brings online resources into a single location with a single login.

“Fitness, golf and recreation all use different programs for their operations, which means that residents would need three different profiles/logins to use each service,” Roman said. “The web portal simplifies this and allows residents to use these services while only having to login to one service, the portal.”

It will be up to each department to determine whether to provide the old reservation option as well as the new, he said.

Task force member Carl Brown was concerned about how secure the web portal will be. “Anybody with a phone book could sign in as another person,” he said.

Roman said, “We could add some additional measures.”

Also during the meeting, Communications Director Ann Peterson briefed the committee on the different means that are available to communicate with residents, including the Rossmoor News, TV Channel 28, YouTube videos, the Nixle alert system, the Fitness Center newsletter, bulletin boards and email blasts.

This was the task force’s second meeting but the first for new resident members Mico, Lew Armistead and Angela Dahl, along with alternate Susan Herman. Other members are GRF directors Walker, Brown, Ken Anderson and Neva Flaherty.

One of the GRF Board’s goals is to improve communication with residents, hence the formation of the task force.

Near the end of the 1½-hour meeting, some new committee members said they were unsure of what direction the task force should take.

“There are a great number of communication tools, but what problem is to be solved?” Mico said. “What exactly are we trying to achieve? Do we have too many tools?

“Personally, I believe more top-level clarity on what our goals are would help me,” he added. “I don’t know what problem we’re trying to solve.”

Armistead agreed. “We need some focus for our work.”

The committee’s next meeting will be Monday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m.

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