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Council could be using laptops by February

by David Meyer

MAPLETON TWP. - Instead of shuffling paper, councillors here could be doing some scrolling at their council meetings starting in February.

It is one of several technology moves council is making heading into 2012.

Just prior to Christmas council voted to obtain laptops for councillors.

Since councillor Jim Curry and Mayor Bruce Whale already have them, the township is supplying three councillors with computers.

Council had been reluctant to spend the money on them, even though it was allocated in the 2011 budget.

But the need for technological improvements won.

On Jan. 10, Curry asked finance director Mike Givens if programs will be loaded onto his computer.

Givens said that is the case.

“We bought the software on the assumption we’d put it on your computer,” he said.

Councillor Neil Driscoll, who has been reluctant to spend money on laptops, asked if council will include email addresses for council on the machines.

He noted the township is soon to launch its new website and said email addresses for councillors should be available so people can contact councillors about various issues.

Chief administrative officer Patty Sinnamon told council the township’s new website will be running “in a few weeks.”

Whale told councillors he hopes there can be some training on the new laptops later this month prior to council’s strategic planning meetings.

In other technology issues, councillor Andy Knetsch told council it should consider a projection screen.

“We need one sooner rather than later,” he said.

Currently, council is forced to use a wall of the council chamber for presentations.

Whale said a screen purchase could be considered in the budget this year.

Curry said rather than a screen, council should consider a monitor. He said if a stand-alone projector is used too often its bulbs burn out and they are expensive to replace. He added a monitor would produce less noise, too.

But Whale noted the township already has a projector.

Givens said that one is shared with the fire department.

Sinnamon said that machine has been owned by the township “since amalgamation, and we’ve not replaced a bulb yet.”

She said the projector was at the fire hall a few weeks ago because council had not been expecting a presentation and had not known it would require a screen.

She said all staff has to do is talk to the fire department and it will be available at the township office.

Councillor Mike Downey asked if it is worth buying a projector or monitor “when we have one 99.9% of the time.”

January 20, 2012

 
 

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