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Go digital with council packets

council packet

council packet

council packet 

This stack of paper, nearly 3-inches tall, is one copy of the information packet for the Monday (Jan. 8) City Council meeting.

council packet 

This stack of paper, nearly 3-inches tall, is one copy of the information packet for the Monday (Jan. 8) City Council meeting.

Twice a month the city produces dozens of packets like this to provide aldermen and interested citizens the information needed to be informed about the issues the council will address.

I don't know exactly what the cost is. But assume three dozen copies of a 500-page packet for 22 council meetings each year at 5-cents per page copying cost – and it's nearly $20,000.

School District 65 has already figured out how to produce its board meeting packets in digital form and put them online. The city should be able to do the same.

(Go to the District 65 web site and look for "E-Packets for Board Meetings" on the "Board of Education" page to see the schools' version.)

Not only would this change save money, it would do a bit to help the environment and make it easier for more citizens to be informed about their government — even those who don't have time to make a special trip to the Civic Center during business hours to pick up a packet.

Since all these documents are prepared in digital form to start with, it should not be costly to make them available online.

Put packets for other city meetings online and the cost savings would be even greater.

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