Elkins Simplifies Agenda Access, Management with Online Platform
Members of the public have a new way to access Elkins council agendas online and can even sign up to be notified when a new agenda is posted, thanks to an online agenda management platform that council recently adopted. The new online tool, which is called CivicClerk, will also speed up preparation and distribution of meeting documents, saving staff time for more valuable work.
For each council meeting, councilors and staff need access not only to agendas but also to a large volume of supporting materials, including staff reports, the text of resolutions and ordinances, and other documents necessary for informed decisions. These meeting packets can run to 100 or more pages.
Previous Method was Manual, Time-Consuming
Previously, the Elkins council’s meeting packets were assembled as single PDF documents through a time-consuming process that introduced the possibility of manual error. The resulting PDF files were also not user-friendly for councilors to refer to and annotate during meetings.
With CivicClerk agenda management software, it is now simpler for the city clerk to manage submission and approval of requested council action items and to attach supporting documentation to specific agenda items for ease of reference. Councilors now have access to notetaking and annotation features within the application interface and can more easily refer to materials from past meetings, all inside the same online interface.
New Solution Simplifies Public Access
The new solution will also make it even easier for members of the public to stay in the loop concerning when meetings are being held and to view meeting packets for upcoming and past meetings.
West Virginia governing bodies, such as the Elkins council, are required by law to post paper copies of their agendas in a public place. Like many cities and counties, Elkins has long made its agendas (and related meeting documents) available online, as a convenience for the public. The process of posting these items to the city website was also manual, creating additional risk of errors and oversights.
With the new platform, when an agenda or meeting packet is finished and ready, it can be published both for councilors and other internal users as well as for the public with one click, eliminating duplication of effort.
How to Take Advantage of the New Platform
The City of Elkins CivicClerk Agenda Center is available on this page of the city website: www.cityofelkinswv.com/agenda-center. There, visitors will see a list of current and upcoming events (i.e., meetings), as well as a list of the most recent events. Registration is not necessary to view published agendas, packets, and minutes. By registering, however, users can subscribe to receive notifications when council and committee agendas are published.
To enable staff and councilors to learn the new platform, it is only being used for council agendas and other documents pertinent to council meetings for the time being. Early next year, it will be rolled out for all council committees as well.
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