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Can Alameda City Step Into the 21st Century?

By Erica Madison

Interim city manager Ann Marie Gallant wants to create a city wide record and retention policy, which brings about the question: can Alameda City digitize their records?

This policy will include a complex inventory, which will suggest how long files should be held and how to destroy the records. Currently the City’s policy is to keep hard copies of their records for three years.

The creation of this policy resulted from an organizational review that revealed that storage space was disappearing due to file retention.

However Mayor Johnson didn’t like idea of destroying records; instead she suggested that the records be digitized.

Everyone on the Council agreed the records should be saved and not destroyed the only question that remained was how?

Councilmember Matarrese suggest to microfiche the files instead of digitizing.

“We should microfiche the records because that can be saved for a hundred years” said Matarrese. It’s hard to receive old e-mails. Or back-up data.

Councilmember Marie Gilmore also suggested that the city’s e-mail be included in the citywide record retention program.

“If we look at our record policy we need to look at our e-mail policy too. Our city server doesn’t allow us to keep data longer than three months” said Gilmore.

The meeting ended without a concrete plan for how to go about saving the records.

“It sounds like Alameda is behind in technology. Our computer system is antiquated,” said the Mayor.

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