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LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Thursday night in Lake Worth Commissioners and staff members are working on closing a $4.5 million shortfall. Some of that work is being done on new iPads.
City Manager Susan Stanton says it was her idea to buy the new technology. She would not agree to an on-camera interview. She did tell us in an email that she "lives and swims with her iPad and takes it everywhere." The city is "phasing out personal computers which cost about $2,000 and are not nearly as useful to use compared to a $700 iPad." She went on to say in her e-mail, "I know for me and my executive staff these tools are being used and it allows us to reduce support staff and improve productivity."
Everett Wilkinsen is the chairman of the South Florida tea Party.
"This is another example of local government gone crazy," said Wilkinsen.
He says cities should not be spending money on things like iPads while running multi-million dollar deficits.
Especially he says - a city like Lake Worth. It still owes Palm Beach County Fire Rescue more than $700,000. The city also had to renegotiate with the Sheriff's Office because it could no longer afford it's contract for law enforcement.
The $13,000 used to purchase the iPads is a small percentage of the city's overall budget- But Wilkinsen says it just looks bad after dozens of city employees were laid off a few months ago.
"Someone needs to take responsibility for this, whether an elected official or employee, you know, they probably need to be fired," said Wilkinsen.
At least one commissioner tells us they are starting to hear the backlash. Scott Maxwell also admits the new iPads purchased for city commissioners and staff directors, may be sending the wrong message.
"It seemed like a really good reason to do that at the time, but based on what I'm hearing now from the public and the number in use, I am starting to question whether we should have gone to this degree with it," Scott Maxwell, Lake Worth City Commissioner.
Good decision or a waste of money - not every one agrees. Still the money has already been spent - and the iPads now belong to Lake Worth and cannot be returned.
Read more: http://www.cbs12.com/articles/ipads-4734567-lake-worth.html#ixzz1VVhnnc1A