Earlier this month, I released information concerning a proposal I presented to the Tazewell County Board concerning the cost and savings possible if the county board discontinued the monthly printed county board packets for every member and embraced an electronic media option.



Several of the newspapers in the county covered the issue and I received a large amount of feedback, interestingly enough equally divided between A) negative responses, B) positive support, C) questions and suggestions.


Earlier this month, I released information concerning a proposal I presented to the Tazewell County Board concerning the cost and savings possible if the county board discontinued the monthly printed county board packets for every member and embraced an electronic media option.

Several of the newspapers in the county covered the issue and I received a large amount of feedback, interestingly enough equally divided between A) negative responses, B) positive support, C) questions and suggestions.

At this time, the iPad proposal is not going forward. One major issue the county board had was that around a quarter of the current members expressed a concern that they would not be able to use or that they were uncomfortable with the technology.

More than anything else, this was the leading objection.

While at this time this proposal in its current form is not going anywhere, the facts concerning the cost of the current paper packets should not be ignored, and in the end that was the purpose of this proposal. Those facts include a yearly cost estimated at $6,000 to $8,000. We employ one individual that currently spends around a quarter of the employee’s year printing and distributing paper packets to every board member. While an average monthly packet is more than 80 pages thick, in just the last two months it took more than 11,000 pages to cover the budget process alone.

To see just what a paper packet looks like, you can review all of them from the past few years on my website www.JohnCAckerman.com, which is currently the only location to be able to find a digital copy of this information.

On top of these facts, ask yourself this: What other $56 million dollar organization would still be utilizing paper copies as the primary way to distribute information in this digital environment.

In the end, this process was a success in getting the conversation started and hopefully in the future we can find a better, less costly option.

We are past the time to start embracing this digital environment. This process brought forward the cost of continuing to do business as we always have with printing paper packets.

As always, I consider it an honor and a privilege to represent you on the Tazewell County Board. If I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

John Ackerman
Tazewell County Board