County board contemplates paperless business model [Superior Telegram, Wis.]
(Daily Telegram (Superior, WI) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 30--The Douglas County Board could be going paperless with an easy-to-use high tech solution.
The measure could save the county about $6,000 annually in the cost of printing and distributing agendas and minutes for the county board, said County Clerk Sue Sandvick. However, with the board's ability to access any document members may need, she expects the savings to be greater.
Board members will be able to sync necessary county documents with their new iPads as soon as they are available and have a Wi-Fi connection.
A growing number of places make Wi-Fi available, said Supervisor Dan Corbin, one of the board members who piloted the project.
Douglas County modeled its program after one developed by Burnett County.
The cost for initiating the program would be $14,256 for the iPads, cases and accessories and software.
The iPads were chosen for the ease of use, Sandvick said.
One of the advantages of the iPad is that if a board member were to have disabilities, accessories to accommodate accessibility to the iPad is available, said Dave Dusek, Douglas County's information technology manager. He said the software supervisors would use also allows them to take notes and highlight important information right on the iPad.
Dusek said that it would also allow supervisors to access their county email without having to turn on a computer.
"I'm considering getting one at home," Dusek said. After working with computers all day, Dusek said he likes the ease of use of the iPad.
With a wireless printer, Supervisor Nick Baker said, board members that choose to print something could do so by pressing print.
"I would have to get a printer," said Douglas County Board Chairman Doug Finn, who acknowledged he still likes paper.
But Monday, he didn't have his pilot iPad with him because while he thought he'd charged it, Finn said when he went to get it, it wasn't charged.
Corbin speculated something might be wrong with it because he said his stays charged a long time.
Supervisor Mark Liebaert said he likes paper too for its ease of use. After all, if the iPad were lost or stolen, he said he doesn't want to be responsible for replacing it. He also wasn't keen with the added expenses it could create for board members -- internet and the cost of printers. Liebaert suggested the board should allow for monthly expenses that could be incurred as a result of owning the iPad.
Douglas County's executive committee on Monday approved moving ahead with the iPads. The measure still requires approval by the full county board.
The next county board meeting is Sept. 19.
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