Piedmont City Council members may, in the not-too-distant future, receive their meeting agendas and related reports on iPads or other electronic reading devices.
City Clerk John Tulloch, who doubles as the city's information systems manager, presented a detailed report on "paperless" agendas to the council at its Monday night meeting. He said at least 70 California cities have already made the switch to electronic devices, with most them using iPads. Some cities started out with laptop computers for council members but later changed over to iPads, he said.
Available software would let council membes make notes on the electronic agenda pages, much as they do now on their paper copies, he said.
Tulloch said that from Dec. 5, 2011 to March 19, 2012, the city used 23,408 sheets of paper for agendas and related materials (including copies for council members, city department heads, the public and the press). Since the agenda pages are double-sided, that's a total of 46,816 copies made, he noted.
Tulloch also suggested that council members consider installing wireless access in the council chambers and other parts of City Hall.
Council members appeared enthuasiastic about iPad agendas but wanted more details on costs and perhaps a presentation by a council member from another city who has used a similar system. They were more cautious about the installation of a wireless access system, citing concerns about the security of computerized records.
Tulloch said costs depend on what devices and wireless access council members choose, but a complete system could be purchased and set up for a little over $16,000.
The council asked Tulloch to include the cost of iPads for council members (but not for departments heads and not including a wireless system) in the proposed city budget for fiscal year 2012-13.
It's already possible to download council agendas and supporting materials onto iPads and computers from the city website.
You can read Tulloch's full report on paperless agendas here.
Other City Business
Also at the April 2 meeting, the city council:
- Approved the second (final) reading of an ordinance on residential second units ("in-law apartments"). You may read more about the issue here and here.
- Approved a two-year contract with the City of Albany to share the services of Fire Chief Ed Tubbs.
- Approved an agreement with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to take part in the Bay Area Trash Capture Demonstration Project. The project, which will be paid for through a $9,290 grant, will place filtering devices in 14 cache basins in the city's storm sewer system. It's a step toward the city's goal of reducing the amount of trash that is carried into natural waterways byu 40 percent. Most of the devices will be placed near Piedmont's two gas stations (where they will help filter out hazardous waste) and near the city center.
- Okayed a letter to ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commisssion expressing concern about the increased number of jobs that are predicted for Piedmont in future years.
The complete meeting agenda and related staff reports are available at the City of Piedmont website.