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Council e-mails delayed


August 28, 2001

Some residents may have to wait several weeks before they can send e-mails to their Beaufort County Council representatives.

Council members received new laptop computers and printer-copiers during the first week of August. The laptops allow council members to receive e-mails from constituents.

The council hoped to have the e-mail addresses up and running by the end of August, but it could take another month before all the members are receiving and responding to e-mails, County Council Chairman Tom Taylor said Monday.

Tackling the creation of a countywide stormwater utility and redistricting of County Council seats has slowed efforts to train the council members on their new laptops, Taylor said.

The county has held off publicizing the e-mail addresses until council members are ready to receive and respond to e-mails, he said.

"We didn't want people thinking we were getting our e-mails and not responding to them," Taylor said.

The county's Web site, www.co.beaufort.sc.us, will provide links to the council members' e-mail addresses.

Councilman Frank Brafman attended a laptop training session Monday. He said having the computer already has cut down on the amount of paper faxed to him by county employees.

The laptops allow county staff to provide council members with meeting schedules, memorandums and other materials.

The county spent about $30,000 out of its contingency fund to purchase the Gateway laptops, which cost about $2,600 each.

Frank Guth, county information systems director, is providing the computer training for council members.

Meanwhile, another Beaufort County e-mail initiative is humming along.

The county launched its CitizenGram e-mail address in December 2000. The address, CitizenGram@mail.co.beaufort.sc.us, allows residents to ask questions of county staff. Tim Bennett, county public information officer, said more than 300 e-mails from residents have been received since December.

BY PETE NARDI, The Island Packet. Copyright © 2001 The Island Packet.


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