MLT councilmembers make switch to iPads

Mayor Jerry Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore, city computer specialist Sandra Chartrand, and Councilmember Seaun Richards look over the new iPads.

Story and photo by Doug Petrowski

Christmas came early for the Mountlake Terrace City Council Thursday night as members received new iPads purchased by the city’s IT Department.

The city purchased nine of the electronic tablets – one for each councilmember, plus one for City Manager John Caulfield and one for City Clerk Virginia Olson – in order to move to electronic files for city meetings in lieu of the previously-used paper packets. The cost of the nine tablets and accessories was $7,650; annual cost of the 4G data plan to support the I-pads is $5,400.

City officials say the cost of the tablets and accompanying data plan will be offset by the anticipated savings of going “paperless” in staff time and copying expenses over the next three years. By converting to electronic files of meeting agendas, reports and informational packets, the City Manager’s office is hoping to “make a significant impact” on reducing the approximately 200,000 sheets of paper it typically has used annually.

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