William Overby got a cool response last week from his fellow Selma councilmen when he suggested a way to save money using technology.
Rather than printing hard copies of agenda packets for each council meeting, Overby said the town should begin distributing the documents digitally. Doing so would save money spent on paper and ink, Overby said, and it would save the deputy town clerk time at the copy machine.
Mayor Cheryl Oliver asked whether the proposal assumed the council would start bringing laptops to meetings, and Overby said it absolutely did.
That suggestion seemed to startle Mayor Pro Tem Jackie Lacy. “Say what? Bring laptops?” she said. “You mean bring a computer to read on?”
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Once the initial shock had passed, Lacy said she was not trying to knock the benefits of the proposal, though she would have a few questions about it.
Selma currently prints 16 to 20 agenda packets each month, Overby said, and they include all of the background and extra information the council uses to make decisions at meetings. Last week’s packet was just over half an inch thick.
After a brief discussion, the council agreed to think about the idea and bring it back up at a future work session.
Before moving on, Overby made one last attempt to frame the issue for the council. “While you’re thinking about it, think about the money you’re going to save,” he said.
New waste truck
The company that Selma contracts with for garbage and recycling collection, Waste Industries of Raleigh, announced it will begin running the town’s routes with a new truck in April.
“We want you guys to be proud that a new truck is coming,” residential manager Josh Hockaday said. “It will be brand spanking new; plastic on the seats.”
The automated arm that picks up cans will be on the front of the new truck, Hockaday said. That ensures the driver always has his eyes forward, reducing the risk of accidents.
The new truck uses compressed natural gas for fuel instead of gasoline, Hockaday said, as Waste Industries moves to convert its entire fleet to alternative fuels in 2015.
“We’re reducing our carbon footprint and turning our business green,” he said.