Streetsboro -- City Council members and some department heads will be receiving tools that should help them save paper and be more efficient -- iPads.
"If we can find something that can help them do their jobs more efficiently, that's what we're looking at," Mayor Glenn Broska said. "We run a tight ship. We don't have spare people. My clerks and directors work very hard."
Typical iPads are tablet computers, often about 10 inches by about 6 inches, that can shoot video, take photos and play music, perform online functions such as web-browsing and emailing, and provide GPS navigation.
Broska said the city is looking to purchase about 17 iPads, and possibly less, at $399 each, which would cost the city about $6,800. They would go to the seven City Council members and the Council clerk plus some department heads.
Broska said the money is in the city's capital improvements' budget, and the project needs to be approved by the city's Board of Control, which should be done in the next couple weeks, Broska said.
City Council member Bridget Pavlick said it would be a good tool.
"It would more than pay for itself," City Council member John Ruediger said, referring to the paper that would be saved.
"It will help us a lot," City Council member Julie Sanders said.
Broska said he asked the department heads whether they thought they would use the iPads.
"Some said they don't see a need for them," Broska said. "We are not buying the newest models available. Older ones fit our needs. They are as fast and as powerful as the applications we'll use. There is no reason to get them with all the bells and whistles. We're trying to find them at the lowest cost possible. I think we did pretty well at it."
Broska said another reason to purchase them is for the convenience of City Council members and Council Clerk Caroline Kremer.
"Caroline spends an enormous amount of time putting together the Council packages," Broska said. "With the iPads, when she gets the legislation, she can save it electronically and send it out. The Council members won't have to come to City Hall to pick up their packets. It will save time and make us more efficient."
Broska said the savings through the reduction in paper "would be substantial."
There also are iPad applications available for municipal government, Broska said.
"When communities first started using iPads, there were not that many apps available," he said. "Now, there are specific apps."
He said departments that will benefit from having iPads include planning and zoning, economic development, engineering, parks and recreation and finance.
He said the iPads will belong to the city, and when employees are no longer employed by the city, the iPads will be returned.
"More and more communities are going to iPads," he said. "I see a lot of mayors showing up with iPads at meetings that I go to."
Broska said the purchases will be made as soon as possible. He said free training will be provided by Apple, which is providing the iPads.
"We want to make sure we do this the right way," Broska added. "We want to make sure we get the best price and make sure they're implemented properly."