Office supply distribution and stocking is an issue everywhere — Why don't we have any plastic silverware! No pink pens? What, are we afraid of communists? How am I supposed to write in my diary now? — from the halls of Metro to schools to your local Arby's to the offices of Scene, where we put out the paper every week huddled around one PC from 1998 when someone isn't taking a Minesweeper break.
The creaky wheels and strapped bank accounts in the hallowed halls of government leave counties and cities facing similar dilemmas. For instance, there were times Jimmy Dimora and pals each shared one hooker instead of springing for their own. Tough times, people. Tough times.
But Cuyahoga County was ridiculously and foolishly flush in one office area: printers and copiers. In fact, they basically had purchased enough over the years so that there was one printer or copier for every two people it employed. That's a lot of NCAA bracket printouts.
A recent floor-by-floor census of Cuyahoga County's office space spread across dozens of buildings found 3,900 printers or copiers.
"It was pretty amazing," said Jeff Mowry, the county's Chief Information Officer. He wasn't here, by the way, when all the hardware was purchased.
"I think different departments used grant money to buy these," he said. But as anyone who has tried to print an English paper at home only to receive a "printer low on ink" message knows, the real cost is in the ink or toner. And Cuyahoga County has been feeding 3,900 printers. About 500 of them were desktop ink jets, which cost about 16 cents per page.
825 printers are already out there door, and over a thousand are scheduled to move by the end of 2012, according to the report. $900,000 is the expected savings, which is enough for Ed FitzGerald to buy the complete series of The Wire for every county employee.