Kindles and netbooks are among the hottest consumer electronic devices on the market. For the city of Sacramento, they’re more than entertainment–they’re critical tools in achieving “paperless” city government. The Sacramento city council now receives all documents pertaining to city business electronically via a Kindle or netbook, provided by the city.
Before the switch, the city consumed one ream of paper per day for each council member for all necessary documents, according to Sacramento City Clerk Shirley Concolino. That amount of paper cost $1,500 per year, per council member. In October 2009, Concolino persuaded the Council to mandate that the city work toward becoming 80 percent paperless over the next several years. Concolino said she knew employee satisfaction with the user experience of electronic documents would determine compliance. In January 2010, she purchased a few Kindles and netbooks and offered demonstrations to Council members and their staffers. Enthusiasm for devices grew quickly, she said.
Other city boards and committees are inquiring about adapting the program for their use, and the only cost involved is the $300 to purchase each device…a nice investment considering the paper savings and sustainability goals achieved.