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Commissioners get laptops

LAWRENCEVILLE — Commissioners have “gone virtual,” Vice Chairwoman Shirley Lasseter said Tuesday, after keeping up with the board’s agenda on a laptop.

In the past, notebooks packed with hundreds of documents have been distributed to commissioners before each public meeting.

Beginning Tuesday, each board member now uses a digital download of the backup materials.

“It streamlines the process,” county spokesman Joe Sorenson said of the paperless system. “This gives them access to the document the minute it is prepared. It’s not going to fill the $18 million gap in the budget, but it’s a decent amount (of savings).”

The new system will save about $5,000 in office supplies and copies each year, plus it will relieve the burden on staff time, Sorenson said.

Lasseter, the oldest board member, joked about using technology but said she has her own laptop and simply fumbled a little this week using the computer’s touchpad. She has requested a mouse to help her navigate the pages in the future.

“It’s still an adjustment, but it just makes sense,” Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said, adding that he always brought his laptop to proceedings in the past.

Beaudreau said he hopes people don’t think that commissioners aren’t paying attention during proceedings because they are looking up information on their laptops.

“I think it’s smarter,” he said of using the technology.