City of Fernie council staff will have to embrace technology next month. Each council member is receiving an iPad to encourage them to go paperless in their meetings.
The subject came up at the council meeting on August 26, and while some council members welcomed the idea, others were a bit more reluctant to embrace the technology.
Councillor Randal Macnair said he is used to using an iPad, and already uses his own for downloading council agendas.
“I’m used to it,” he said. “But I know it’s not for everyone.”
Councillor Dan McSkimming also welcomed it, and said the cost of the iPads would soon be recouped by saving costs printing paper agendas each year.
He said City of Fernie paper costs are around $2,500 a year.
“In the long run these iPads will cost the same as printing paper, but will save paper,” he said.
“This is the way the world is going.”
However Councillor Joe Warshawsky and Mayor Mary Giuliano were not so enthusiastic.
“It’s great that you guys are so comfortable with it but two of us aren’t,” she said.
Councillor Warshawsky questioned why getting iPads for council had been fast tracked when he thought other community plans such as installing cameras downtown are more important.
The Mayor and six councilors will all receive a 16GB iPad 2 model including a portfolio case and stylus pen. Other senior management staff will also receive the equipment. The computer equipment shall remain the property of the City of Fernie but the council and staff members will have the option to purchase the equipment at the end of their term at its depreciated value.
Council members not comfortable at first with the technology will still receive paper agendas.