News

Council goes techie with laptops

From the left, Councilmen Bob Severns, Rick Almberg, Jim Palmer and Mayor Jim Slowik listen to Bruce Roberts, director of information services for the Oak Harbor School District, during a training session Tuesday. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
From the left, Councilmen Bob Severns, Rick Almberg, Jim Palmer and Mayor Jim Slowik listen to Bruce Roberts, director of information services for the Oak Harbor School District, during a training session Tuesday.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor City Council members— and their employers —no longer need to worry about whose information is stored where.

Relief arrived along with eight new 2.40 GHz HP 6730b laptops “so we can sequester their city council work from what they’re doing at work and at home,” Bruce Roberts, director of information services for the Oak Harbor School District said. Roberts will oversee the maintenance of the business-class laptops.

Until recently, council members used their personal and work computers for some of their city duties, which left the public disclosure door wide open to disaster if the city had received an audit, and the council members’ personal or work hard drives had been confiscated.

“I would be uncomfortable and unhappy if my hard drive was confiscated,” Rick Almberg said at a special meeting in January before the laptops arrived.

But an inconvenience for some could have meant the loss of employment for another.

“I’d get fired,” Bob Severns said, point blank, when asked what might happen if his hard drive was ever confiscated for a city audit.

In addition to the reassurance the council feels by keeping work and council duties separate, the machines will cut down on paper and printing costs, Danny Paggao said, urging his city colleagues to embrace the new technology and stick to digital files in place of paper agenda packets.

The eight computers cost the city a total of $9,800 from the general fund and are part of the established 2009 budget, which also includes an on-going computer maintenance agreement with the Oak Harbor School District Information Technology Department.

“The ultimate goal is to quit killing trees,” Roberts said in reference to the council’s culture shift from paper toward PDF documents.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Dec 17
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates