OCEANSIDE — The city’s information technology crew took advantage of a month without City Council meetings, and installed a new electronic voting system control and repaired worn audio speakers in July.
Yukari Brown, city IT division manager, said residents and council members would notice the difference in August.
The updated voting system ensures votes are electronically displayed during the meeting.
“It was dated, 10-year-old software and hardware,” Brown said.
The new system also includes a touch screen panel at the speaker’s podium, which counts down minutes for each speaker, and provides a clear display of how much time is left to address the City Council.
Brown said the five-inch touch screen added to the podium and new digital display board are the most visible changes.
Three of a dozen-plus speakers in the chambers have also been repaired.
“It was not part of the initial project plan,” Brown said. “Through the process we remedied some audio issues. Quality and volume has improved.”
Councilman Chuck Lowery said he appreciates the necessary fixes.
“It’s been difficult to hear what the public is saying to council, and this addresses the need to clearly understand our constituents,” Lowery said.
The repair work was scheduled six months ahead of the July City Council break, with a goal to get the work done before the Aug. 5 City Council meeting. Other July meetings scheduled in the chambers were relocated to rooms within the Civic Center.
Cost for improvements were $19,000 for software and programming, and $70,000 for all hardware, including repairs to lights. The city’s IT department funds covered the costs.