15 iPads & iPhone 4 devices requested for Mayor & Council

Post by Mike Klassen in

10 comments

mac_vs_pc
PC vs Machead: Gregor and his key staff will turn in Canada's RIM for Apple

It was a story so silly that it even left us scratching our heads. But what the heck, here goes.

Mayor Gregor Robertson decreed that he and council, plus his staff need Apple iPads and state-of-the-art iPhone 4 handsets, and 15 of each of the units are to be ordered through Vancouver's IT department.

In case you've not noticed already, Canada's Blackberry devices produced by Ontario's Research in Motion company, are the device du jour for cities and other levels of government across the continent. However, there is that "hipness factor" which apparently is drawing Hizonner into the Apple fold.

Yes, it seems that in order to be seen as a "progressive" government, it makes more sense for Robertson & co., and the City Manager to be carrying around iPads and iPhone 4s.

Now, of course this produces massive headaches for IT departments, who by nature have one set of support and security protocols across the board. But we're told that the City Manager effectively told staff – if that's what the Mayor wants, that's what he gets.

ipad-cc Coun. Suzanne Anton, who recently purchased her own iPhone but also totes around a City-issued Blackberry quipped when asked if the City bought her Apple device, "I prefer the more secure Canadian device for City business actually. I know nothing about any plans for us to switch."

Why our City elected officials can't get by with Blackberry devices, given their competitive offering, The Torch, is not clear. It certainly makes sense to us that Canadian politicians might want to be proud of the home grown device. We'll wait for Mayor Gregor to respond, before he jumps on a jet to China of course.

UPDATE: City of Vancouver communications is denying any devices are "on order" and there is "nothing in the pipeline," and Mayor's office staffers are saying it's just a rumour. The last time the Mayor's office told media we made stuff up (when we reported that Penny Ballem was getting her 4% raise when asking managers to take a pay freeze), it turns out we were right.

We'll stick to our original story unless someone can prove categorically that the Apple device purchase was not in the works. We'll see what comes from our FOIs on this subject.

Folks, we may have just saved you a few more grand in taxpayer dollars by flagging this one.

- post by Mike

10 Comments

Is this what happens when a business owner runs City Hall? Someone needs to remind Gregor that he is a public servant running the government on tax payer's money. While Lululemon and EA staff can get yoga classes, a smoothie bar, iPads... whatever, this cannot be justified for public servants. Sorry. I am a public servant (not municipally) and he gives us a bad name.

"But we're told that the City Manager effectively told staff – if that's what the Mayor wants, that's what he gets."

She sounds like she's the highest paid personal assistant in the world. I thought she ran the city not kowtow to Mayor Moonbeam's whims and use some fiscal restraint and responsiblity. Oh, how naive of me.

I'm guessing that Penny Ballem also fetches Hizzoner his organic coffee, bottle of Happy Planet juice, lays out his papers (as if he actually reads them) and has his hemp slippers ready for him to slip on. At the end of the day, she must be either rewarded with a treat, or a pat on the head with a good ol' "atta girl".

and we thought we had problems with Council paying attention at public meetings before... solitaire anyone?

if this was not so serious it would be a joke.

This sounds exactly like something our spend now, spend later mayor would do. I bet your post had them all scrambling on the third floor wondering who the leak was. You're probably spot on that this revelation about the iPads just saved tax payers a lot of dough.

What is the policy about what happens to computers and phones should councillors/Mayor not be re-elected, or if they don't stand for office again?

Do they get to buy out their computers/pda's at a reduced/discounted rate? Or do they have to hand them back in?

Which is it? And if the former, what would be the buy-out rate?

No surprise that they are iLemmings at City Hall. This is an elite government after all. Thirty-six percent of Apple owners reported household incomes greater than $100,000, compared to 21 percent of all consumers.

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/173119/report_us_mac_households_rise_to_12_percent.html

Great.

Like Andrea Reimer needs more distractions during meetings.

Personally, I would like to see a policy implemented that during council meetings ALL cell phones, PDAs etc are turned off.

If I sat in an office or client meeting and 'tweeted'- my butt would be fired.

"Hi. I'm a PC. I have 95% of the personal computing market and the most popular browser and e-mail apps".
"Hi. I'm a Mac. The iPad costs $800, plus $70/mo subscription and it's outperformed by a $100 Windows netbook with built-in webcam".

What a joke. As an IT professional, these are the silly demanding requests that just make me nauseous.

It's clear that the executives think of IT as toy buyers instead of a vital part of any business decision.

Perhaps it would be wise for the executives to actually consult the subject matter experts so that they can determine the best solution for the business needs.

Oops I forgot...all they want ate new toys.

And will the taxpayers be paying for app-store purchases for said devices?

On one hand Greg is heading off to China to promote Vancouver business, and on the other he is replacing Canadian technology (Blackberries, made by Research In Motion). Is this guy for real?

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