Santa Cruz’s council members stopped using electronic tablets that the municipality acquired two years ago (at a cost of ¢150,000 each) so the council members could read the council’s acts and not use paper.
Yorjiani Rosales, the Municipal Council’s secretary, said that the council members found the tablets’ batteries had died in the Council session. So they stopped using them.
“The reading of the acts doesn’t start at 5:20 but rather it starts after that. The tablets’ battery life doesn’t last that long,” said Rosales. According to his version, this happened even though he charged the tablets before the session started.
Rosales said that some tablets didn’t even work. However, as the Council still hasn’t made the necessary repairs, it voted to return to printed acts. The decision to save municipal resources in paper and ink was abandoned.
Who Will Fix Them?
The Municipality of Santa Cruz’s coordinator of information technology (IT), Manrique Solórzano, said he doesn’t know how damaged these electronic devices are because the Council’s secretary hasn’t handed them over to be evaluated.
When questioned about this matter, Rosales said that he still has to send the tablets to the IT department, but he wants to use them again.
The electronic tablets aren’t the only underused resource. The Municipality also purchased an interactive screen in 2015, which cost ¢1.5 million. It hasn’t been used because it requires the purchase of an additional video beam, which has not been bought.
Acts Are Read in 30 Minutes
The Municipal Code dictates that the council members approve the Council’s acts in the following ordinary session. However, this Tuesday, June 6th the council members had only read the acts from April 18th.
Members of the Santa Cruz Council took around 30 minutes to read the more than 20 pages that comprised each act.
According to Rosales, using session time to read the acts was a decision made by the Santa Cruz Council. Each council may decide if the council members should use session time to read the acts or if the members should have already read them in order to approve them in the following session.
All the Municipal Code says is that the acts must be placed at the members’ seats two hours before the session begins.
Macdonald Espinoza, a new council member who occupies the seat that previously belonged to Carlos Acuña, says that the Council could save time if these acts were read before the session started.
“I had never been to a hearing, and it took a long time, almost 35 minutes,” criticized the new council member.