The Duncan Banner

January 17, 2013

Duncan City Council turns to technology

Megan Bristow
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Like kids on a Christmas morning, members of the Duncan City Council met for a special meeting Tuesday to participate in a training session geared to teach them how to use their new iPads.

The training, led by Duncan Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Captain Jay Evans, focused on using the iPads that were purchased by the council after approval at a city council meeting in November.

Before the devices were turned over to the council members, the iPads were loaded with applications for business use only. No social networking applications or games were loaded on to the device and the city’s iTunes password is in the hands of the police department, ensuring that all app purchases will be approved first.

The iPads are loaded with the standard Apple apps and, as they are the latest version of the iPad, they also come equipped with a two-way camera and Siri. The council members were also supplied with a protective case, a wireless Belkin bluetooth keyboard and a stylus.  Other productivity apps that were loaded onto the device for productivity include Google Earth and iAnnotate for opening and making changes to Adobe Acrobate files.

The iPads were purchased for the council members and City Manager Jim Freida to aid in communication between the members and the city manager.

“I think it would be useful in a lot of situations,” Evans said.

Effective immediately, council packets will now be delivered via email to the iPads and those will be used at the council meetings instead of the three-ring binders that have been used traditionally.

“I think it is going to help us all communicate,” Mayor Gene Brown said.

Not only does the council plan to save paper by implementing this program, it will also save manpower hours by the police department. Duncan police officers are currently responsible for hand-delivering the council packets to the council members and the others that receive the packet.

All documents will still be open to the public according to open meeting laws and council agendas will still be printed and available at the meetings.