New Brighton council to transition to paperless packets
Target for implementation is January 2013
The New Brighton City Council is planning on moving forward with paperless council packets.
The potential purchase of 12 Lenovo tablets and 12 Lenovo keyboard cases was discussed at a work session in late September.
City IT Administrator Andre Barte wrote in a memo that the projected cost of each tablet with cellular service is $450, and each keyboard case costs $100.
The proposed purchase would be funded out of the city’s IT Department Capital Replacement Fund.
The tablets would be purchased for the mayor, the four City Council members, the city manager and department directors. The total cost is not to exceed $9,000.
The New Brighton Information Technology Department obtained price quotes from the state of Minnesota government purchasing contract for 12 tablets that would be used for city-related business.
According to Barte, moving to paperless council packets will save the city both time and money. City staff wouldn’t need to assemble and print the packets or deliver them, which will save on fuel. He added that there would be less wear and tear on the city’s printers and less paper used. All the costs add up, so the tablets would pay for themselves.
City Manager Dean Lotter said each tablet comes with an electronic pen for taking notes during conferences and meetings. Each tablet links to a desktop or laptop and can be converted to a mini computer by locking in a keyboard.
Barte said the tablets could detect a wireless printer. Asked why Lenovo is being proposed, he said you pay more for the high-end name of brands such as Apple, Sony or Toshiba.
He said the tablets can be password protected and encrypted, and he could send a command that makes the tablet unusable if it were lost and someone else gets a hold of it.
Mayor Dave Jacobsen said he thinks that with use, time will tell how effective moving to paperless packets will be.
“Every time the technology changes, I’m always surprised how much it’s expanded to more capabilities,” he said. “I think it will open a lot of horizons that we haven’t even thought of.”