During the past year, taxpayers have bought at least 10 iPads costing $7,900 for elected officials to use at their meetings, but the money saved by using devices instead of making paper copies could take years to add up.
Trading in paper for iPads saves trees and makes browsing meeting packets more convenient for board members, local officials said. But whether the device saves money depends on what was purchased, how much paper a board uses and how often local officials are using them.
Johnson County spent about $2,500 this year on iPads for the three county commissioners to replace printed meeting packets that sometimes top more than 200 pages. Greenwood spent $5,400 in April to buy five iPads and less than a year of data packages for city council members. Franklin bought eight iPads last year that are used by all city boards.