LIVINGSTON — The days of printing hundreds of pages of meeting agendas and supporting paperwork soon will be over for the Livingston Parish Council: The board is making the move to digital by upgrading to iPads.
The switch to digital documentation will increase efficiency and eliminate printing costs for agenda packets and other paperwork that the council will be able to access through a shared electronic dropbox instead, the councilmen said.
The move also will allow council members to illustrate items under discussion by sharing documents and photographs from their computer screens to two large, overhead monitors in the council chambers, according to a demonstration and training session for the council and its staff April 4.
Each iPad is equipped with software that will allow the council members to suggest edits and leave comments in shared documents, scan business cards and import that data to a contacts list, as well as take photographs and notes while meeting with residents about road or drainage problems, said Justin Thornhill, owner of Nortech Downtown.
Thornhill’s business is providing the council’s iPads, related equipment and training through Channel 17, Inc., which runs Livingston Parish’s public access channel and will own the new equipment.
Included in the deal are 12 iPad Pros, equipped with Apple smart keyboards and Apple Pencil styluses, for the nine council members and their three clerk staff, plus related software, services and training, according to Nortech’s quote.
The $16,000 cost will be covered through cable service fees, not taxpayer funding, Parish President Layton Ricks said.
Documents scanned and uploaded to the council’s shared dropbox will be digitally stored on a computer server in the council clerk’s office, while files uploaded to each council member’s individual dropbox is housed on Dropbox.com’s servers, Thornhill said.
“Almost everything is cloud-based now,” Thornhill said, referring to the off-site storage, although photographs and other files created with the iPads will remain stored on the devices themselves.
Nortech is providing mobile device security for the iPads, including data encryption, that meets federal standards and guidelines, he said.
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