The Courier-News
Serving Central Jersey since 1884

Friday, November 20, 1998         Page C-1

Webmaster bows to pressure from officials
by Jessica A. Calendar
Staff writer

FLEMINGTON - A Flemington webmaster said she will take down her page promoting the borough after it attracted the ire of local officials.

Annick Elzière said she would rather dismantle her page than continue the bickering, which she said sheds a bad light on her hometown.

"I do not want the town to look bad, when all I was trying to do was make the town look good," Elzière said.

Elzière said she will take down the page today.

Officials in Flemington, complained Elzière's site interferes with what the borough considers its official website - Both sites are privately owned.

Councilman Joey Novick said he's glad Elzière decided to take down the site but said she may be able to bring it back up after the borough discusses the matter with its attorney.

"It hasn't ended with her taking down the webpage," Novick said. "We're still going to discuss it. It may simply be a matter of her putting a more prominent disclaimer on the page."

But Elzière said she thinks she's going to abandon the site completely. She has no plans to revive it after she shuts it down today.

Officials said Internet users, using the search term "Flemington, N.J." have been finding Elzière's site faster than the borough's. They wanted her to change the name of her page so that Flemington's site gets top billing.

The request came with the threat of legal action if Elzière's website that deals with her religion, the Bahá'í faith.

Novick said the religious parts, and some minor inaccuracies about some borough activities, prompted him to bring the issue to the borough attorney.

Elzière said a name change would be too costly and would undermine the intent of the webpage, which is to link the Internet community to Flemington.

"My idea was to bring people together here," she said.

There is another site that shares the Flemington name.

Flemington Car and Truck Company maintains a site dubbed

Novick said that the borough has no problem with that site because it doesn't look anything like the Flemington sponsored site.

"Anyone clicking onto knows it has nothing to do with the borough," Novick said.

"But this is a very different situation. It's a very ambiguous line."

Staff writer Sharon Silke contributed to this story.