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New paperless agenda system begins

TOWN OF WEST HARTFORD ADOPTS “NEXT GENERATION” AGENDA MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY

WEST HARTFORD, CONN. (February 12, 2019) – The Town of West Hartford is leveraging Cloud-based technology to radically streamline its governance process while saving staff time and taxpayer dollars.

The agenda management technology, known as BoardDocs Pro, is a paperless agenda system that uses a structured, collaborative workflow system specifically designed to meet the unique needs and legal requirements of municipal governments, public school boards, and a wide variety of other types of governing bodies.

The Town of West Hartford will be the first municipality in Connecticut to use BoardDocs with its advance technology and agenda management. There are several Boards of Education in the state already using the technology.

“BoardDocs is going to save staff hundreds of hours of time in printing, assembling, revising, filing and distributing packets of information in preparation of each council meeting,” said Town Clerk Essie Labrot.

“The paperless system will also be a time saver for any department that contributes an item for discussion on the Town Council’s agenda,” she continued.

A cross departmental team and members of the Town Council’s Administration & Technology subcommittee researched several systems before choosing BoardDocs.

“I thank our staff for their due diligence in exploring the many options and selecting the product that works best for West Hartford,” said Mayor Shari Cantor.

A training session was held on January 29, 2019 for staff and Town Council members. The February 12, 2019 Town Council meeting, which was postponed until Feb. 26, will be the first paperless agenda meeting.

“BoardDocs is remarkably easy-to-use and will maximize the effectiveness of our council meetings. We’ll have access to any last minute revisions and allow us to review information prior to meetings,” said Chris Williams, Town Councilor, and member of the Administration & Technology subcommittee.

“With the adoption of BoardDocs, West Hartford will be the first municipality in the state to adopt a fully paperless digital system. This is a great example of how under Mayor Cantor's leadership West Hartford continues to work toward being an inclusive and environmentally friendly community, while find ways to be more cost-effective,” said Liam Sweeney, Town Councilor and Chair of Administration & Technology subcommittee.

“The paperless agenda system will speed up the process in which documents are made available to the public, which creates more transparency and better communication,” said Liam Sweeney, Town Councilor and Administration & Technology subcommittee member.

After the meeting, individuals can review the agenda items and see what action the council took, complete with voting results. All documents associated with the meeting are automatically archived and can be accessed by date or by using the system’s comprehensive search feature.

The agendas are viewed on iPads that interact with the web-based BoardDocs. The iPads allow the user to view attachments ranging from maps to memos.

Eleven iPads were purchased through the State Library Historic Documents Preservation Account for $8,288. A January 10, 2019 memo from Town Manager Matt Hart stated that, “by state statute the funds may be used for the ‘preservation and management of historic documents,’ including information technology to facilitate the performance of duties integral to the maintenance and tracking of historic documents.”

“Once we have mastered BoardDocs for the Town Council meetings, we will expand the use of agenda management technology to our 30 boards and commissions,” said Jared Morin, Director of Information & Technology.

The new agenda management system can be accessed via the Town of West Hartford’s web site, www.WestHartfordCT.gov, and then click on Meetings & Agendas on the home page.