In a move that is supposed to save money, paper and bring the City Council into modern times, the council on Monday voted to approve a measure to equip members with laptops or tablets and stop getting paper agendas.
The paper agendas, printed by the City Clerk, can be hundreds of pages. Council President John E. Lanni Jr. said he's "filled up a room with the amount of paper" he's received over the years and the computers will save money in the long run.
The cost of the equipment could range from about $3,000 to $4,000 depending on how many council members opt for the city to buy one — several members said they already had a laptop or tablet and would use their own.
In addition, the city will set up a new Internet connection in council chambers with WiFi. Each council member will get the WiFi password. The network will not be connected to the city's existing Internet connection for safety and security reasons.
City Council Lawyer Patrick Quinlan said he would look into issues surrounding council member usage of the Internet during meetings. There is a concern that if members exchange messages during meetings, those communications would be subject to open meetings laws.