Council embraces paperless process

Tablets and online agendas the new way for Oak Bay

Coun. Michelle Kirby is happily out from under the piles of paper that used to make up agendas at Oak Bay council and committee meetings and now taps away at her tablet instead after Oak Bay started 2015 with a paperless agenda.

The shift to tablets is proving worthy as Oak Bay entered the digital age of agendas for 2015 – environmental, financial and community engagement.

“It’s good for our budget, good for our staff and it’s good for community engagement,” said Coun. Michelle Kirby. “Staff deserve the credit.”

She has encouraged the change since her first election to council in 2011, and right up until late last year staff were creating multiple paper agendas, at times even driving them out to council members’ homes on the Friday before a meeting.

“It’s expensive to change processes and we’re very mindful of our budgets in Oak Bay,” Kirby said of taking time in the changeover. “We’re going to save in the long run, not to mention accessibility to the public.”

While Oak Bay hasn’t done a cost analysis of savings versus the cost of software and tablets for members of council and key staff, they’re confident in the value.

“We haven’t’ done a specific analysis of it, but certainly I know there was always a lot of staff time taken in photocopying and collating. It seems to be a smoother and easier operation,” said Mayor Nils Jensen.

“I have found it to have been a success from a number of points of view,” he added. “It gives the public quicker and greater access to all the items on our agenda; second of all it’s much easier to use at council than some of the other programs that I’ve seen and it’s very portable so you can do all the studies and access it 24/7 pretty well any place you’re at; thirdly it reduces the staff time as far as I can see.”

Now the agendas are available at oakbay.ca for download, and for those who require a tangible document, printing at home. It provides an easier path for first-time council meeting attendees, or the occasional follower of council. Staff also added a procedures page, explaining how each segment of the agenda works.

“It’s alleviated frustration for people who really spend a lot of time following council business,” Kirby said.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich landfill gets used oil and antifreeze dropoff centre upgrades

BC Used Oil Management Association oversees upgrades, two new facilities in province

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

UPDATED: Missing 25-year-old Saanich woman found Saturday

Yuhan Jin thought to be travelling by foot or bus, carrying two suitcases

PHOTOS: Kids, parents cool off at Langford splash park

Centennial Park is home to a popular water feature

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read