City clerk's office in Windsor, Ontario, ordered by city council to move to paperless model, but paper copies will be available; such documents as city council and committee meeting agendas, minutes, voting records will be provided to the public online
June 19, 2013
– In a boost to forest preservation and a nod to the environment, city council on Monday voted to have its clerk's office start switching to a "paperless model" for its voluminous agenda packages.
And as part of an overall package with SIRE Technologies for $173,000, council meetings will also soon be live-streamed on the Internet, and agenda, meeting, attendance and voting records will be permanently stored and available electronically to the public 24/7.
While it "doesn't sound sexy" to most, local citizen activist, city hall watcher and avid blogger Paul Synnott told council there are many positive aspects for the engaged citizen to the change from strictly paper, particularly the offer of access to "the complete re-cords, end-to-end" of city council and committee minutes and actions.
For those who want to continue getting the paper versions, city clerk Valerie Critch-ley said such hard copies will continue to be made available at her office and in local library branches. She said the change to electronic will be phased in over the next 12 months while the live-streaming of city hall meetings will be implemented the following year. In a staff report to council, it was pointed out that the materials and staff-time savings from the change will cover the costs for automating the agenda process.
Ward 3 Coun. Fulvio Valen-tinis couldn't help getting a dig in to a regular council critic. He asked Synnott whether the move might turn Windsor into "one of the most open and transparent" jurisdictions.
"It's a huge step in the right direction," Synnott replied.