News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Angry Nerds: RA Board Gets Fancy iPads

alg_pee_wee_ipad.jpegAs befits a homeowners association in the "Dulles Technology Corridor," the Reston Association Board is moving into the 21st century, spending our annual assessments creating a paperless, Internet-friendly governance model by using fancy new iPads on which board members will electronically review DRB violations and other fun things, and maybe only just occasionally project manic-depressive avians towards unprocessed pork products. Um, huzzah?

RA will be giving iPads to members of the board of directors. It will cost the organization more than $10,000, but will save money in the end, RA spokeswoman Amelia Townsend says.

Though the price tag for the Pads is $10,333, the annual cost to deliver materials to board members drops to $4,726 – an annual savings of $8,964, Townsend says.

“iPads are a versatile tool that allows Board members to review minutes and materials, communicate with members of the community and be more efficient and prepared for doing the work of the Association,” she said, pointing out that saving money and better using technology is in keeping with several of RA's 2012-2016 Strategic Plan goals.
Will the board members have to wait in line for hours to get their iPads?

To be fair, all kinds of organizations have switched from giant paper binders to iPads as a cost-saving measure that actually wound up saving money. And since Reston is the "city of trees," we should all be happy that fewer of them will be sacrificed for the codification of all our fancy regulations. But we can still imagine how the unique technological features of the iPad will be put to use "doing the work of the Association":

DRB Something.jpg

Of course, the joke will be on us when DRB Something becomes the best-selling iPad app of all time, the end.


  1. They must be following the GSA's fine example.

  2. My biggest concern is what the actual bottom line is now and recurring costs going forward.

    $10,333 / 11 = $939.36 per device so I would imagine they are getting top of the line 64 gig wi-fi + 4g? Wouldn't this elude to needing data plans at an additional cost per month, per device? Are there measures in place for monitoring the data plans to ensure its use is strictly RA related?

    I would be irate to find out my assessment is going towards paying data fee overages because someone watches Netflix or Hulu on the side.

  3. Why just for themselves?

    Why not buy iPads for all Restonians so all of us can see the same information about what RA is doing with our--yes, OUR--money (such as buying iPads) in a timely and complete manner?

    Maybe that would stop spending foolishness, such as buying iPads for the RA Board.

    Just asking.

  4. I would imagine that the ipads are RA property and not gifted to the BOD. Really, it makes much more sense to do these things electronically. It's not just the paper, it's the staff time to produce the binders. Printing, collating, putting the binders together. The paper is way more expensive.

  5. I await an app featuring a giant slingshot by which I can hurl DRB members at homeowners using red mulch.

  6. I imagine the rationale of getting the upgraded wifi+4g as opposed to the cheaper models is that they can and will use them outside of the RA office. Perhaps my assumptions are wrong, however I feel there are far cheaper alternatives for them to explore.

  7. The Ghost of Steve JobsApril 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Elevation drawings of decks recommended for DRB denial will look stunning, nay magical, on the new iPad's Retina Screen (tm)(R)!

  8. If those are indeed top of the line devices, would they be considered MaxiPads?

  9. The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve JobsApril 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs...
    is getting the color of my house trim and door approved when all my neighbors don't really give a shiv one way or the other.
    As for the IPads, I am already dead so I don't give a flying flip what happens to Apple's share price, or whether the new RA app actually saves anyone any money.

  10. Can't they just email board packets?

    1. Why do that when you can spend $1,000 of someone else's money on something you (a) may not use for its intended purpose and (b) can use for any purpose you want?

      If they used Google, they could store docs and amend them in the cloud.

      There are any number of ways to do what they need to do, but none are as expensive.

  11. Would everyone be freaking out if it were laptops instead?

    Speaking as a recent ipad convert, it honestly is an amazing productivity resource IF properly used. It makes reading and annotating documents a breeze.

    As another poster pointed out, these are not gifts (at least I hope not!) and the next incoming board member will use the ipad as well.

    I think however, RA should not get the data plans because there are plenty of WiFi hotspots around, including (i'm sure) most board members' homes.

  12. Two Words: Angry Birds.

    1. Angry Nerds:

    2. I was happy when the new iPad came out. The prices on the older refurbished ones split in half. The figures show 10K for new iPads for everyone with an 8K in savings on paper and documents. If the iPads were refurbished it might be a $5K for the iPands and a positive cash flow for things like office parties and other waste.