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Potsdam school board’s transistion to paperless meeting going well

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POTSDAM - Up until last year, Potsdam Central school officials used to print off meeting packets and mail them to its members, using massive amounts of paper and adding postage cost.

That all came to an end last August when the board switched to paperless meetings. Agendas and other board documents are now computer files accessed through Google Docs.

“Everything I have heard is positive,” board President Christopher C. Cowen said. “My understanding is that it has grossly lessened the work on our office staff.”

Board Clerk Davida Martin, who also serves as Superintendent Patrick H. Brady’s secretary, agreed.

“I’m really happy with it. It has saved us a lot of time and resources,” she said.

While there may be some financial savings to the district due to less postage and paper being used, Mr. Cowen said the real savings comes from the ease of simply loading the documents once onto a computer.

“The real savings is in manpower,” he said.

Board member Wade A. Davis, who also serves as the executive director of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, said he’s quickly become a fan of paper meetings and would like to see more boards doing the same thing.

“I absolutely love this,” he said. “I’m a member of several boards, and I love this.”

When asked if other school boards in the area were now holding or planning on switching to paperless meetings, Mr. Brady said he was aware of “a hand full” of other boards doing the same thing. They include the Massena Central School Board of Education.

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