Several McLean County Board members already use computer tablets to receive meeting agendas and other county documents. (Photo by Eric Stock/WJBC Radio)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - McLean County government is hoping to save a little money by limiting how much paper it prints.
The county will soon be buying computer tablets for all county board members and department heads to avoid the cost of printing out lengthy meeting agendas and other documents.
The effort was championed by board member Erik Rankin, D-Bloomington, who has said the county is wasting time and money by printing out documents that are available online.
"I feel that my annoyance has started to gain some traction if you look around the room, we are starting to see at least half of the board using iPads and other digital devices. So yes, I am claiming victory at the moment," Rankin said.
McLean County's Director of Information Technology, Craig Nelson, said the county will buy an Android tablet as a test purchase with the goal have having the tablet available to each board member who wants one by the April 16 meeting. He added that board members can also use their own tablet if they wish.
County Board administrator Bill Wasson estimated the county will save about $4,000 a year.
"This may be a transition that will take some time, depending on the wishes of board members. So we might not realize all of that savings initially," Wasson said.
Some board members already use their own tablets, while others said they want keep the printed documents.
Board member John McIntrye, R-Normal, said he prefers having a hard copy of the board agenda.
"They say all politics are in the margins, that's where I write my notes - in the margins," McIntyre quipped.
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