"Each year nearly 10,000 pens 'walk-out the doors' of our Auto Bureaus, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars," said Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs. "I found it frustrating to spend so much taxpayer money for pens, so we looked for a creative solution to offset the cost."
Jacobs' creative solution is to partner with local businesses who frequently advertise through having pens with their logos on them. "These businesses actually want folks to take their pens so we thought it was a perfect marriage," he said.
Jacobs sent letters out to hundreds of area businesses and has been overwhelmed by the reception. "We have already received over 15,000 pens from businesses, a 1 year's supply for us, and more keep arriving every day," he said.
Jacobs' office currently has stacks of boxes filled with pens that he will be distributing to the six Erie County Auto Bureaus. It is estimated that this resourceful cost-savings measure will eliminate the need for the Clerk's office to purchase pens for more than a year. "We believe we have created a win-win for the taxpayers and for local businesses in Erie County," Jacobs added.
Jacobs said he first reached out to the nearly 500 businesses participating in the Clerk's "Thank-A-Vet" Discount Card Program. Some of the businesses that have stepped-up are Amherst Alarm (5,000 pens), Metro Roberts Realty (5,000 pens) and Carubba Collision (3,000 pens).
Businesses interested in the "Pens We Want Our Customers to Take" Initiative can contact the Clerk's Office at 716-858-6985 or email [email protected].