Hattiesburg City Council Chamber gets a facelift

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) -   As you walk into the Hattiesburg City Council Chambers, you will probably find yourself distracted by the 60 inch TV screens or the computer monitors at each seat.

From bottom to top this room has been redecorated and renovated, but Vice President of the City Council,  Dave Ware says the change was about more than appearances.

"We looked at this room and found that it was time for us to update the room. To provide some those 21st century electronics that people are certainly use to today," said Ware.

These electronics will allow the people of Hattiesburg to have full access to its city government.

"We are trying to provide a more open form of government. An open access government that allows people to search online for agendas, to listen to and actually view the votes that are occurring," said Ware.

This can all be done through the city's new system called Legistar. You can view meetings in real time, and search for city records.

"That system will allow, as we get all our documents scanned, people to do word searches. They can actually do a real time search of that. Get the information provided to them at the comfort of their home at their PC, then they can provide us feedback if they so choose through our e-mails, or here at these newly renovated chambers," said Ware.

Ware added the online capabilities allow them to be a "paperless" government which benefits the city financially.

"If we can now stop the reams of paper that each of us get every two weeks delivered to our homes, and save the money on those , the printers and the fuel to get those to us. That provides us more money to go out and do things like: patch streets, pave streets, fix water leaks and other things that people expect the city government to do," said Ware.

Ware says the chambers dedication was 25 years ago, and he hopes these changes will last another 25 years.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.