11/14/2012 10:40 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

New iPad Vexes Maryland Town Council Member Brett Bidle: 'I Just Don't See The Use For It'

MYERSVILLE -- Town leaders squabbled about technology Tuesday night after a councilman tried to turn in his iPad so that another project could receive funding.

"I just don't see the use for it," Councilman Brett Bidle said. "I don't see how it will help me to better govern in my position."

During a public meeting, Bidle, who was elected to the council in 2010 at age 18, explained his reasons for rejecting the iPad. Town Manager Kristin Aleshire said iPads were issued to council members three months ago.

Since then, documents reviewed at meetings have been emailed to council members, which allows them to see updates in real time, Aleshire said.

But the switch was met with resistance from Bidle, who said he did not need the device.

Bidle said he would rather receive paper documents about town business. He also said money spent on the device could be refunded and used to update the town's website.

Bidle brought his unopened iPad to Tuesday's meeting, but was unable to turn it in.

His suggestion was quickly rejected by Mayor Wayne Creadick, who said use of the device was mandatory for Bidle and any other Town Council member.

Creadick explained that use of the device is now policy for Town Council members.

Bidle said he did not know that such a policy existed.

Creadick fired back with an explanation of the policy, while also citing Bidle's lack of attendance at town meetings.

Bidle said his lack of attendance was for health reasons. He further explained his ability to check his email on his personal computer.

Creadick then expressed his displeasure with Bidle's method, warning the councilmen about mixing business and pleasure.

"I don't mean to step on anyone's toes," Bidle said.

Earlier discussions in Tuesday's meeting included revamping the town's website, which could cost about $600, according to Brad Dyjak, town planner and zoning administrator.

Djyak said images displayed on the current site are stock photos. On Tuesday, the council bounced around the idea of hosting a contest that would allow local residents or schoolchildren to create a banner for the site.

"If it's the best design, they win," Creadick said of students possibly creating the banner.

Funding for the project will be discussed later, but for now, Bidle is keeping his iPad as Town Council members adjust to the switch.

"It's policy," Creadick said. ___

(c)2012 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.)

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