Everything's online: City attorney Tom Billings consults his iPad during a meeting of the Greenfield Board of Works. The board, which this week became the latest government entity to begin using wireless devices, intends to put all of its documents online. Mayor Dick Pasco says that will make his administration more transparent, because anyone with an Internet connection will be able to access them. (Photo/Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)
GREENFIELD — When Mayor Dick Pasco suggested the purchase of iPads for members of the Greenfield Board of Works, it was part of a trend for government boards that are increasingly using laptop computers to make their work virtually “paperless.”
But Pasco is taking the effort up a notch: He says the computers will not only cut down on loads of paper and ink from city copiers, but they will help the city become more transparent to the public.
The connection is clear in Pasco’s mind. More documents will be put on the city’s website, he says, for the general public and the board members alike to view.
But there’s also a double-edged sword with technology. Board members could use them to hold virtual chats instead of speaking up in a public meeting, for example.
While city officials acknowledge the ability to misuse the computers, they say safeguards will be in place to make sure the iPads are used properly.