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Township Logging On To New System

September 7, 2011
August 18, 2011 by Daniel Jackovino
Independent Press

The Bloomfield Township Council unanimously approved a contract Aug. 8 to acquire the technology to make local government more accessible.

The technology will allow residents to follow council meetings in real time via the Internet, search ordinances and resolutions using key words, and access public records on their own.

The $16,300 contract was awarded to Carahsoft Technology Corporation of Reston, Va., through the Federal General Services Administration.

"The savings is really big when you find something in two minutes when it would have taken 45 minutes," Daryl Blowes told the council before the vote. Blowes is the CEO of IQM2, the company which will provide the software for the system.

Blowes added that the time required to create an agenda and distribute it would be cut by as much as 90 percent. Savings will also come from a reduction in paper, document scanning and record location. Overall, the general economics to a town with Bloomfield's current population of 47,000 would be about $238,000, he said.

According to Assistant Township Clerk Bonnie Triola, the township began working with the new system two days ago.

"We got our user names and passwords," she said yesterday. "We're able to look into it."

At present, the municipal staff is being acquainted with the system through conference calls with IQM2. Eventually, all department heads will be trained, she said.

"Imagine, the next day after a council meeting, I'll be able to put out what is permissible from the packet," she explained. Triola was referencing the information packets each council member receives prior to the meeting.

Because New Jersey Legislature is looking at a bill requiring municipalities to have five years of public meeting minutes accessible on the Internet, Triola said Bloomfield acquired the software.

"We don't have the storage capability now," she explained and added the township's goal is to make the streaming of meetings live on the Internet in the future.

Saying that the system will be set up by October, she mentioned that the current municipal records manager, Robert Lupinski, will be leaving by then. Lupinski was being paid by a state grant which has been eliminated.

"There are still some things we will have to do ourselves," he said.

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