Ending the paper chase
Darius Pridgen's legacy will now include this: He saved many trees.
Pridgen was among the city Council members getting a lesson yesterday on using a new electronic system replacing the many, many - did I say many? - sheets of paper heretofore used to create Council agendas and the many, many - did I says many? - documents associated with those paper agendas.
As Council president, Pridgen has pushed for an electronic system to replace the stacks of paper.
I was in Pridgen's office when he and University Councilman Rasheed Wyatt got a lesson on the new system from Council staffer Malcolm Ertha.
The new system, Ertha said, is available to the general public as well as the Council.
You can get to the site at this address: buffalony.iqm2.com
Eventually, the site will include Planning, Zoning and Preservation board documents, but for now, it's Common Council documents going back to May 2016. Prior Council documents will be added over time.
The site lets you search for Council items by date or key words.
It provides info on the status of a measure, including whether it was approved, and links to other items detailing the history of the measure. Soon it will also have video to go along with some Council votes.
The Web site allows people to register if they want to get Council notifications, such as press releases and meeting notices. But it's not necessary to register if all you want to do is search the site.
The system cost $60,000 to get up and running over the past year, and will carry a lesser annual operating cost - an amount somewhat offset by the paper savings it creates.
Ertha didn't know the dollar amount the Council has spent annually on paper, but said his office calculated that if the paper used by the Council each year was stacked up, it would be as high as the McKinley monument in front of City Hall.
The monument is 96-feet high.
In today's Buffalo News and buffalonews.com, my colleague Harold McNeil has story on dedication of a garden at Broderick Park, named in honor of Lillian Batchelor, who has brought attention to the park's role in the Underground Railroad.
Today's Calendar Items
Preservation Board meets this afternoon