County Considers IT Staffing Needs
Oskaloosa, Iowa – Technology and digital records continue to march further into the normal, even in an environment in government that requires absolute reliability. For many years, paper copies and records have continued because the changes in formats and data loss have continued to cause concern over records search and archive.
The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors has begun the exploration of the IT needs of the departments within the county, and how best to serve those needs.
At a special meeting of the Supervisors and department heads from various offices like Sheriffs Office, Auditor, Treasurer and Secondary Roads among others.
Currently, GIS Coordinate Brian Knudtson helps perform some of the county IT needs. This arrangement has worked for the past 8 years. The infiltration of technology into every facet of work has generated a need beyond his part-time IT capability. Currently, the county also utilizes outside IT consultants for other work. With those expenditures already happening and a growing demand on GIS services, the discussion has taken place that it may be more prudent and cost effective for the county to hire a full-time IT coordinator.
The coordinator salary would be paid for from the budgets of the various departments of county government, with each department paying a portion, based upon the amount of computers in that department.
Benefits to having a staff IT individual would include being able to better maintain confidentiality and improved response time to issues. Having an on-staff IT person would give county employees someone to call in the event of a problem. Cost of the staff position is a downside to hiring a full-time IT staff member.
Mahaska County Supervisor Chairman Mike Vander Molen said, “I think that’s the big frustration. When using an outside vendor you’re calling someone who’s not here and it’s going to take a while for them, or they are going to try and help you over the phone. That’s why people continue to use Brian, cause he still is here, he still is going to help and Brian’s not going to put his foot down and say no.”
The county and the members of the City of Oskaloosa staff have had informal discussions on handling IT needs in the future for both entities, and a shared IT staff could be one of those cost saving measures that could possibly be explored in the future.
The Board of Supervisors will continue exploring the options for IT needs going forward, because the need for coordinated services was expressed by the various department heads.