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Hagerstown City Council to vote on paperless agendas

April 21, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown City Council will vote next week on a purchase request that, if approved, would make the council’s agenda process paperless.

The council will vote on the proposal during its 7 p.m. regular session on April 26 at City Hall.

Two vendors responded to Hagerstown’s request for proposals for pricing and options for paperless meeting-management systems.

The five-member council gave city officials the nod in December to issue a request for proposals for the project.

Scott Nicewarner, city director of Technology and Support Services, said Tuesday that he recommended the council purchase the “software as a service” version of NovusAGENDA by Novusolutions, the vendor that made a presentation to the council in September.

NovusAGENDA would cost the city $8,580 annually as a service, he said. For the city to purchase and host the system, it would cost $18,700, not including hardware, according to city documents.

Nicewarner said Novusolutions was the low bidder among the two vendors that responded to the proposal request.

He also said Novusolutions was the only one of the two vendors to offer a “software-as-a-service” option for the city.

“Software as a service” allows the software to be hosted by the vendor, and the city would pay an annual subscription fee to use it, he said previously.

Both Novussolutions and Destiny Software, producer of AgendaQuik, made presentations to city officials and Councilman William Breichner in March, Nicewarner said.

City Clerk Donna Spickler said the companies went through a meeting scenario using their product.

After evaluating the two options, the selection team chose to go with Novusolutions, Nicewarner said.

Breichner said Tuesday that both systems were, in his opinion, very good, but that he supported the staff’s recommendation based on cost.

“It comes down to cost as far as I was concerned,” he said.

Destiny Software’s AgendaQuik would cost $19,950, not including hardware, according to city documents.

If the council decides to purchase a subscription service for NovusAGENDA, Nicewarner said its use could extend to the city’s other boards and commissions.

Spickler said the technology would also provide transparency to the public, because all documents can be searched, reviewed and downloaded from the city’s website.

It will also be compatible with both PC and Apple products, Nicewarner said.

And thanks to new wireless access in City Hall, anyone will be able to download and view the documents during the meetings on a number of devices, he said.

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