Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tickle Me BlackBerry

Recent budget discussion at Sarasota City Call have again brought up questions about how many staffers and commissioners need BlackBerries (those "must have" digital devices that handle telephone and e-mail in a hand held size).

A while ago we read about then mayor Mary Ann Servian's plight when she dropped her BlackBerry into a glass of iced tea - apparently while rushing to get ready for a commission meeting. Then later had another one stolen and it was used to make calls to South America.

The latest discussions indicate that "Vice Mayor Danny Bilyeu, who's been using a city BlackBerry on a trial basis, said he kind of likes to "feel a little tickle on my side" when he gets an e-mail", according to a SHT article.

This is getting to be quite the ticklish subject.

What exactly are the city commissioners doing with these devices? Apparently there is some experimentation to find just the right way to use them.

We also wonder why everyone in the Neighborhood Partnership Office apparently needs one. According to the SHT "The Neighborhood Partnership Office, which gave out a BlackBerry for each of its six staffers, estimated next year's cell phone charges to be around $3,000 -- double what it expects to spend through this fiscal year."

We hope these budget requests are justified in terms of improved productivity and that savings can be documented.

Oh, and there are much cheaper ways to get a tickle.


Anonymous said...

This is a fine example of legal money laundering. The rising real estate market has resulted in a flood of easy money rolling into city hall, which has to be washed/wasted somehow. I guess it is more expedient to spend our money than to do something responsible like refunding some of it back in the form of a substantial real estate tax cut.

Anonymous said...

I'm not bothered so much by the potential cost. However, I've always wondered how I would feel if my organization forced me to carry around another device in place of or beside the one I've already come to rely on. I mean, the Blackberry is cool, but what if I've got my own cell PDA? Now I have to carry two contraptions?