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Article posted: 1/9/2013 7:14 PM

Arlington Hts. village board going paperless

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The Arlington Heights village board this week approved going paperless, a move officials expect will make meetings more transparent and greener, besides.

Starting this spring, full board packets will be available online, and each meeting will be livestreamed on the village website.

The measure also gives staffers permission, within their budgets, to buy electronic devices for several departments. Several trustees, however, said are against spending public money to buy iPads for public officials.

Robin Ward, assistant village attorney, said 10-12 iPads will probably be bought for village staffers.

On Monday the board approved spending $12,000 annually from the IT budget for electronic board packets and $2,500 this year for video equipment to help livestream meetings.

The new system will give the public online access to the full packet, and also allow board members and staff members to log in and make personal comments and notes on the packet. Those notes will be accessible only to each individual board member.

Packets will be available online the Friday before Monday night meetings.

NovusAGENDA, the company the board approved on Monday, will also live stream board meetings on the village website and index the video by agenda item, meaning that someone could click to watch a certain portion of the meeting instead of having to re-watch the entire video.

Officials said the electronic plan will save staff members time in preparing the packets each week. Village Manager Bill Dixon said packet preparation is labor-intensive, and takes the work of several people from different departments many hours.

About 20 packets are printed, copied and collated with packets often being longer than 200 pages worth of information.

The money for the paperless plan is within the village's budget and does not require any new funding sources, officials said.

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