By Trevor Busch
As predicted by Coun. Louie Tams, requests for new electronic tablets have snowballed following town council’s recent decision to purchase the devices for members of the Municipal Planning Commission.
The matter was brought before the Taber Municipal Police Commission for discussion at its March 21 regular meeting with the request that the commission approve the purchase.
The motion, moved by Coun. Joe Strojwas, was approved by the commission with funds to be allocated from the Council Discretionary Fund.
“Following the motion that came from the Municipal Planning Commission originally, there’s been a bit of an awareness and an opportunity for some of our volunteers to utilize iPads instead of having the material printed out for them,” said CAO Cory Armfelt at town council’s April 9 regular meeting. “That wave of goodwill has reached the Taber police commission.”
According to administration, in late February CAO Cory Armfelt had notified TPS Chief Graham Abela that the Municipal Planning Commission had discussed the possibility of purchasing electronic tablets for the purpose of allowing the members at large to have electronic access to their agendas in the same fashion as council members.
The purchase of the tablets will be made by the town’s IT department, and will be set up and managed in the same manner as town council’s tablets, including assigned passwords and limited downloads and apps. Administration indicated the purchase and implementation of electronic tablets would allow for a “reduction in the amount of printed copies of the Taber Municipal Police Commission agendas.”
“I guess my concern is if we do it there, are we going to do it for the rec board, are we going to do it for the police commission, because the rec board also has big agendas, and some of the members that sit on the rec board have brought their own,” said Tams at the Feb. 12 regular meeting, where the original purchase of the planning commission’s electronic tablets was approved. “I think if we end up doing it for one, we’re going to end up doing it for all.”
On Thursday the Taber Recreation Board voted unanimously to recommend to town council that it purchase the “required amount” of iPads for the board’s members at large, with funds to be allocated from the Council Discretionary Fund.
When a member has finished their term on the police commission, the tablet is to be returned to the town and set up for an incoming member at large.
Following discussion, council voted unanimously to approve a request to purchase electronic tablets for members at large of the Taber Municipal Police Commission for no more than the value of $2,000, with the funds to be allocated from the Council Discretionary Fund.