MADRAS, OR -- The city of Madras is considering a new technology plan that would provide each councilor with an iPad to perform city business. Two tablets have been purchased so far, and will be assigned as part of a pilot program in the coming weeks.
Tom Brown tells KBND News when he became a councilor, he quickly discovered the amount of paper generated before each council meeting was expensive and inconvenient. "In each packet we get, there’s from 3/8 to ¾ inches of paper, and that’s twice a month, plus mailing it. So, over the course of the year, you’re looking at a 4-foot stack of paper for everyone on the council," he says. "So, I started with myself, I use my computer a lot. It’s easy to read, it’s easy to keep track of." Brown adds, "If you’re on the council for a few years, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with paper. There’s stuff you really wanna save, but what are you gonna do with it? I’ve begun to build my files with different ordinances and things like that, that we’ve worked on. I’ve got them in my computer, I’ve got them backed up. Going electronic with this, is going to be a real benefit for the councilors for not having so much paper. But, over time, I think it’s going to be a serious cost saving."
Councilors will be trained on the tablets before receiving them. "It’s time. It’s time in history that we need to move into this. If people are going to move into this position and take on this job, then they need to bring themselves to the level that it takes to do it," Brown says.
The city council is expected to approve the pilot program at Tuesday's meeting. If the test program is successful, the city would spend just over $3,000 to rollout iPads to each councilor.