I was perplexed to learn that our City Council had purchased 10 iPads for a total cost of $7,629.89. That one purchase accounts for over two-thirds of the city’s $12,500 annual office supply budget.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-technology and I certainly do not think that our elected officials should use stone tablets and chisels to conduct their meetings. However, I am concerned that the iPads were more of a "want" than a "need." If an upgrade in technology was needed, there are other options such as netbooks or laptops. The latter would be better equipped for business applications and would not bear the cost of the coveted Apple iPad.
Do our politicians sometimes feel like the public is holding their feet to the fire? Absolutely! It comes with their job. It is the public’s duty to question the officials that we elect to represent us. It isn’t anything personal, but when they are spending the taxpayers’ dime, I want to know that is has been used wisely.
The good thing that comes from this purchase is that it was made at a local shop where the sales tax will stay local. The sale will help to pay employees’ wages, as well as other costs associated with running a small business.
For this reason alone, I will give the iPad purchase a letter grade of "D" instead of an "F."
This letter is in regard to the purchase of the 10 IPads at a cost of $7,629.89. They just had to buy them to save money right? Let’s do the breakdown on them on really how much we save as a taxpayer.
I went online for the price of common brands like Georgia Pacific letter size copy paper. Ten reams of copy paper is a case (at a cost of $30.97); that equals 5,000 sheets of paper at a cost of 0.6194 cents per sheet (before taxes). OK, now let’s say these 10 IPads are used at every meeting from now on. Sounds good right? But let’s break this down even further. Check this out, the math does not lie. The $7,629.89 the City Council spent would have bought around 246.3 cases of paper. If you figure 246.3 X 5,000 = 1,231,500 sheets of paper.
Now let’s just say that at every meeting those 10 people have at least 50 sheets of information to go through every month. That comes out to 500 pages per meeting. That equals 6,000 pages per year. Now the real questions need to be asked: Are these 10 IPads really worth it? You can save money in 205 years and 3 months from now. Therefore in the year 2218 July you can start to save money. Even if the information packs they receive every month is 100 pages, it would still take over 100 years. Wow! This is just an example. It just does not justify the cost of these 10 IPads.
Here are just a few questions that need to be answered. As a taxpayer I would like to know and so would everyone in this town, I bet.but
1. Just how much paper did they buy last year for these same 10 people?
2. Does that mean the office budget will be cut by the same amount next year since we are going to save so much money by not using so much copy paper?
3. The city still has to keep a hard copy of the meetings which is printed on copy paper for keeping public records. Right?
4. Why did they not look at other tablets, netbooks, or laptops that are far cheaper and still able to do what they want? And do they have data plans on these 10 IPads, and if they do, how much is that going to cost the taxpayers at the end of every month?
5. Ask yourself, did you really save taxpayers’ money or waste it? Think about it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like computers and I use them. They are a great tool if you have the right computer for the right job. They did not even think about this. You still need a computer to get all the features on these 10 IPads to work.
So, here is an idea for our good old boy local government — stop wasting our tax dollars and trying to make it sound sooooo gooooood! And if I am wrong about any of this … prove it!
I was appalled to read that a former school employee who sexually assaulted a student will spend less than 10 months in prison. The sentence for the former Clinton coach who sexually assaulted a student was the same, so I guess that’s what he will spend in prison as well. These men were paid taxpayer dollars while they harmed children. In case after case, people convicted of drug charges are given much harsher sentences. Does anyone else see something dreadfully wrong with this picture?