Wildomar is the latest city to ditch paper council agendas as a cost-cutting measure. The fledgling city stands to save $3,650 a year by going digital, according to a city report. (Photo: AP)

BY JEFF HORSEMAN
STAFF WRITER
jhorseman@pe.com

Published: 03 October 2011 05:58 PM

Thick stacks of paper are giving way to iPads as at least four Inland city councils have switched to electronic methods to deliver meeting agendas.

Wildomar is the latest city to ditch paper council agendas as a cost-cutting measure. The fledgling city stands to save $3,650 a year by going digital, according to a city report.

Like Wildomar, council members in Murrieta, Hemet and Banning follow agendas by using tablet computers such as iPads. They’re part of a growing trend of California cities, said Shirley Concolino, president of the City Clerks Association of California.

“It’s something we definitely promote,” she said.

Concolino is the clerk for the city of Sacramento. A 2009 Sacramento staff report estimated that going digital would save the city $200,000 a year in paper costs, with additional savings coming from not having to store old documents off-site.

Wildomar’s moves came as city officials brainstormed ways to save money after losing vehicle-license fee revenue — 22 percent of Wildomar’s budget — to the state.

The average Wildomar council agenda packet contained 146 pages, according to City Clerk Debbie Lee. That came out to 1,752 pages a meeting, 38,424 pages a year and $5,450 annually, including the three to four hours of employee time needed to assemble each packet.

Lee estimated it would cost $4,110 to buy five iPads, one for each council member. But Mayor Marsha Swanson and Councilman Bob Cashman already own iPads. And Interwest Consulting Group, which handles planning and public works for Wildomar, offered to donate three used iPads to the three other council members.

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