Posted: Thursday, June 26th 2014 at 12:52pm
Gainesville Council steps into higher-tech meetings
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – Something alien welcomed Gainesville City Council members as they took their seats around the Council tablet in preparation for Thursday morning’s work session.
Before each member was the customary manila file folder bulging with information and documents pertinent to the meeting, but front and center, supplanting the normal position of the manila folder, was an iPad.
“Today we (take) our next step in terms of going paperless for our meetings,” City Clerk Denise Jordan told Council. “We are going to continue to practice for the next few work sessions before we actually introduce it to the (voting) Council meeting. We want you to have a lot of comfort with the tablet.”
“We know that at minimum we’re saving at least two reams of paper for each meeting,” Jordan said.
“Not to mention time at the copier machine,” Mayor Danny Dunagan added.
At the end of the 80-minute work session Jordan complimented Council members for their efforts to use the iPads in lieu of using the hardcopies of each resolution and document.
“I was just kind of observing you all using your tablets and it looks like you did a pretty good job with those,” Jordan said.
“I’m excited that we’ll get a chance not to have so much paper,” Councilwoman Myrtle Figueras said.
Figueras was first elected to the City Council in 1996 following a long career as an educator. “Yet I’m used to picking up a piece of paper and reading it; so it’ll take me a little time…but it’s fun.”
Mayor Dunagan added, “This thing is going to be real nice when we get it up and going. It’s going to save a lot of trees, that’s for sure.”
Jordan said the tablets were purchased by the City to run the custom software designed for their use and were paid for as part of the 2014 budget.
STOP SIGN MIGHT BE IN LIMBO
Residents living on the northwest side of Gainesville have been requesting that the intersection of Club Drive and East Lake Drive be made into a 4-way stop. The corner, located near the Chattahoochee Country Club, currently is a stop only for motorists on East Lake Drive.
Chris Rotalsky, Assistant Director of Public Works, had an update on that effort for the Council.
“We set out the counters and evaluated that intersection,” Rotalsky began. “Currently…that intersection does not meet the warrants for making that an all-way stop.”
Mayor Dunagan was disappointed with the news and stated, “I had a lot of requests for this as did Councilman (Sam) Couvillon.”
Rotalsky explained that one of the requirements for making the intersection an all-way stop would be a minimum of 300 vehicles per hour on the main road (Club Drive) and 200 vehicles per hour on the side street (East Lake Drive).
“The highest counts that were received on those (roads) respectively were 161 on Club Drive and 78 on East Lake,” Rotalsky said. “From the volume perspective they are not meeting that threshold.”
Dunagan continued his pursuit of the matter. “It may approach it more when school is in session. I’d like to see a four-way stop there because of the school system.”
The area is a popular “cut-through” for students who attend Chestatee and Gainesville High Schools.
“We can do counts again once school is in session,” Rotalsky agreed. “And we will continue to work with the Police Department to ask for increased enforcement and patrols through that area.”
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