>Last week I went to a local township meeting about saving taxpayer money. I had two suggestions one on demand response and the other to start using free and open source software. I actually got to talk to the head of IT for the township and found out they bought their Microsoft licenses outright 5 years ago, so monetary incentive to change, yet.
It’s not the same with the local school district; they have a Microsoft Software Assurance program. They pay somewhere in the range of $400,000 of taxpayer’s money to Microsoft every year, partially for the right to upgrade to Vista. They’ve been doing this since at least 2002, so they mostly have been paying in advance for the right to upgrade.
I plan to contact the board of education and try to make using free and open source software a political issue for them. First, I have contacted the IT department with the hopes of opening a dialogue to discuss this and what the taxpayers really get for $400,000 every year.
If you have some free time and want a way to make a difference:
- Find the budget’s you pay locally, township, schools, etc
- Read what they are spending on software and what their future plans are
- If they are spending an absurd amount, continue:
- Speak Up!
- Write letters/emails! Phone Calls! Go to Board Meetings!
- Start with IT people, than move to administrators, than to the board.
You have the most political power in your local township, your vote and voice matter more in your local government than anywhere else in the political system. USE IT!
(Rinse and repeat with any issue you care about, for me this means energy as well)