A new online system rolled out this week by Long Beach City College will make it easier for the public to access information from Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) Board of Trustees meetings.
The new “BoardDocs” system was unveiled at the January 27 Board of Trustees meeting, and with it, the public will be able to easily browse through agendas, access documents related to motions and even see trustee votes recorded in real time. Minutes from the current week’s meeting will still be posted at the same time as the next meeting’s agenda, because they require approval before being made public.
“The minutes of board meetings must be recorded by the Board Secretary and checked for accuracy,” Stacey Toda, Associate Director of Public Relations and Marketing said in an email. “Additionally, the minutes must be approved by the board before they are posted.”
In addition to making information more readily accessible, the website which features a scrolling menu of agenda items, presentations and PDF attachments that would otherwise be printed, seems poised to cut down on wasted paper and costs associated with printing. Toda said that the school would normally print over 20 agenda packets for board meetings.
BoardDocs launched nationally in 2002 and boasts over 24,000 registered users. Emerald Data Solutions, the parent company of BoardDocs estimates on its website that its services save taxpayers over $10 million annually. A spokesperson from BoardDocs said the typical cost for BoardDocs Pro, the tier of service that LBCC subscribed to, is around $12,000 annually, but added that colleges that are members of the Community College League of California would most likely receive a discount, bringing the cost to less than $10,000.
“The board has been interested in moving to an electronic board agenda system more than a year,” Toda said of the decision to move forward with the new system. “Staff reviewed several vendors that provide this service to schools and colleges and chose BoardDocs based on their service and track record.”
The announcement of the implementation of BoardDocs comes just months after a newly-elected trustee questioned the degree of transparency of the board and a provision in the board’s bylaws that allowed for the passing non-itemized expenditures under $25,000 to be grouped together and approved as single line items.
“Conducting the College’s business in an open and transparent way is a top priority for us,” LBCC Superintendent-President Eloy Ortiz Oakley in a statement regarding the new system. “Our new web-based system is very easy to use for anyone with a computer, smart phone or tablet.”