iPads may be in forest preserve board members’ futures
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org November 8, 2012 3:38PM
Updated: December 10, 2012 6:24AM
Will County Forest Preserve District board members are going high-tech to save trees and money.
At Thursday’s board meeting, Executive Director Marcy DeMauro said $15,000 has been set aside in the 2013 budget for iPads or some other electronic device for the 26 newly elected board members who will be sworn into office on Dec. 10.
“My question is, what are we supposed to do with that,” asked Herbert Brooks Jr., D-Joliet. “What are we old people supposed to do.”
But DeMauro assured Brooks that he could adapt.
“I think you’re still trainable,” she said. “You’re young at heart.”
Currently, the district spends about $15,000 to $20,000 a year on copying and postage to mail committee and board meeting agendas to board members, DeMauro said. With tablets, the material could be sent electronically and the program would pay for itself in about a year, she said.
Forest preserve board members double as county board members, so DeMauro said her office would work with the county to split the cost of devices, software and service.
Some board members may prefer to use their own tablets, smart phones or laptops, so a stipend may be established for them, DeMauro said.
Not everyone may be able to adapt to the new electronic era, said Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort. The county board tried to give each member a laptop years ago.
“I think within six months, half of the members returned them,” Moustis said.
Also Thursday the board:
Approved its $54 million 2013 budget and $35 million property tax levy, which keeps spending and salaries mostly flat. The district’s tax rate will increase slightly to make up for declining property values.
OK’d 24 three-year farm leases, which will bring the district $1 million in revenue, about $600,000 more than leases approved three years ago because of the high price of grain.