The Erie County Clerk’s Office (Buffalo, NY) spends $3,000 per year to purchase 10,000 pens. The office loses nearly 5,000 pens a year, due to customers walking off with them. The office has tried tying the pens to clip boards, but that still did not solve the problem. At 30 cents a piece, lost pens costs taxpayers $1,500 per year.

As reported in a Buffalo News article, County Clerk Chris Jacobs, has come up with a creative solution to address the problem of missing pens. Jacobs has obtained donated pens from local businesses, who are providing pens free of charge with their company logos to the Clerk’s Office. Local businesses get free advertising and the County saves money on purchasing pens that walk away in large numbers.

While a huge amount of money is not being saved, I like the idea as a creative way to solve a small problem. Perhaps this idea can be implemented with your local government. What do you think about having pens donated by local businesses to save money for a local government?