The New York Times has an interesting story on a town in Cornelius, North Carolina that, in an effort to save money, has taken to giving town commissioners iPads instead of printing out meeting agenda packets.
Cornelius Police Chief Bence Hoyle and town manager Anthony Roberts explain:
The short version is, unlike a lot of governments, we try to operate as much as a business as possible. At the end of the day, when you are printing agendas around 200 pages apiece and after the meeting they go into the recycling bin, you say, “Why are we doing it like this?” We have to run 20 agendas at 200 pages per agenda. That’s 4,000 pages just on that one, and that’s not including the time to put it together. And you usually don’t get it right the first time because everything changes. I would think it takes over eight hours per packet.
I suppose another option would be to cut down on those lengthy agendas, but to be fair, my closest association to local government is my avid watching of Parks and Recreation.