Each member of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners in Michigan is presented with a 139-page meeting packet before each gathering. It contains all the information for the upcoming votes, bills and talking points. However, according to a recent Stanton Daily News article, starting soon that stack of paper will be replaced with an iPad.
This move is being done as a way to save money. According to County Controller-Administrator, Chris Hyzer, who was interviewed in the piece, it costs $185.03 a month – $2,220.31 a year – to mail all nine packets out. There is also an additional $1,097.68 to create the packets for a year. This doesn't include the time and effort that goes into the production.
The cost of the new iPads will run $4,050, which means after 15 months of use, the devices will have paid for themselves. Hyzer said that there will be no additional costs or work for the commissioners aside from making sure the devices connect to their home wireless internet. He added that the average life of an iPad is five years which means the country will be experiencing three and a half years of profit.
"This is something that I've been trying to get us to move forward on for quite some time, to go paperless," Ron Retzloff, one of the commissioners, told the news source. "I started saving some of the packets at home and I have three or four boxes full of paper. I think to myself, how useless and what a waste."
The only paper that will be at the meetings is a small four page agenda for the public and any note taking material the commissioners desire.
The paperless approach is spreading across offices around the country. With the help of a document scanning service, an organization can make sure every physical paper is in a digital format.
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