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Starting this week, Downey City Council members and department heads will begin using iPads to access council meeting agendas, eliminating the need to print and compile agenda packets that often required thousands of sheets of paper.
Council members inserted the iPad purchases into the 2013-14 fiscal budget.
The city clerk's office will download the agenda packet into Dropbox on the Thursday before each council meeting. From there, each council person can download the agenda using the iAnnotate app, allowing them to bookmark pages and add notes.
Until now, city staff spent up to three hours putting together the agenda packets, which, on average, contained about 150 pages each, officials said.
"We want to take full advantage of the latest innovation in advanced government technology to save natural and financial resources, while providing our council members with a more convenient and efficient way to view agendas and prepare for meetings," Mayor Mario Guerra said in a statement.
I am editorializing here, but with its newly-created free time City Hall should consider updating the city clerk's website, which is difficult to navigate and woefully out of date.
For example, according to the city's website, the City Council's downtown subcommittee hasn't met since Dec. 5, 2012. The Downey Theatre subcommittee also hasn't met since 2012, according to the website.
It doesn't inspire much confidence in the city's ability to use technology to increase government transparency.