Every Friday morning, the village staff in Croton-on-Hudson collates all the documents, correspondence, resolutions, announcements, memoranda, and draft legislation needed for the upcoming regular meetings or work sessions of the village’s Board of Trustees.
The preparation in quintuplicate of board packets with the complete agenda documents consumed two staff hours each Friday morning. The delivery by automobile of these packets to the homes of the board members on Friday afternoons by the village staff consumed further resources.
The volume of paper a village trustee receives each year can be staggering. For a televised board meeting, the typical board packet comprises 75 to 100 pages, or in excess of 2,000 pages a year. For a typical work session, the packets are smaller, but add up as well. With 30 or more meetings a year, each board member receives about 30 pounds (13.7 kilograms) of paper annually in the board packets. For the five member board, that means photocopying, collating, and transporting about 150 pounds (68 kilograms) of paper per year. “On top of considerable savings in paper and photocopying costs, the savings in staff time is significant,” added Village Clerk Paula DiSanto.
After adopting the budget for the next fiscal year on April 27, the Board of Trustees resolved to go paperless by May 4th, its next regularly scheduled meeting, at the instigation of Trustee Rick Olver. Said Olver, “Going electronic is not just about bringing the Board firmly into the computer age; it’s about our our commitment to lower costs for taxpayers and get rid of unnecessary make- work burdening Village staff.”
As of this week, the vast majority of the meeting content can and will be delivered electronically by the village staff to the board. While some documents and reports will remain in hardcopy form, the move to a paperless board packet will reduce the physical volume of paper needed to conduct board business by about 90% to about 3 pounds (1.4 kiograms) per trustee per year.