|AKRON, Ohio, November 20, 2002 - - A
committee composed of local business and community leaders delivered its report to Akron
Mayor Don Plusquellic and the City Council of Akron today, after a 6-month inquiry into
how Akrons municipal government could best deploy technology across city government
in the future.
In receiving the report, Mayor
Plusquellic said, "We will immediately begin efforts to implement the report, and
make city government more modern, more efficient, and more responsive to our citizens
through the effective use of technology."
The committee, chaired by Steve Morgan, Vice President of
Energy Delivery for FirstEnergy Corp, issued a 31-page comprehensive look at the
citys current technology practices and made recommendations for future planning.
Plusquellic expressed his gratitude to members of the
Technology Committee for producing an impressive, comprehensive report. Chairman Steve
Morgan said, " The City of Akron can be proud of its accomplishments to date, but the
complexity and inter-relatedness of technology suggests that the city must consider a more
integrated approach to decision-making in the future."
Among the recommendations of the Committee are:
Appointment of a cabinet-level Chief Technology Officer,
who will oversee a unified department of Information and Technology Management,
consolidating existing departments in several areas of the city.
Creation of a city of Akron Technology Committee to review
and approve the business case for new technology initiatives.
Recognition of the special skills developed by city
employees who work in technology within their own departments, and developing
opportunities for promotion of technology personnel within the citys civil service
Improvement of training opportunities for all city workers
who use technology/information systems.
Development of a project-management system as new
technology initiatives are introduced, so that a single manager will have responsibility
from inception of a new idea to adoption at the department level.
Standardization of computer applications and hardware,
which should result in lower overall costs and improved operations and maintenance of
Assessment of critical technology systems within the city;
adoption of strategies to better secure information systems, particularly those which
handle confidential information; elimination of outdated software, and better
documentation of existing software.
Creation of the Technology Committee was announced by
Plusquellic in his State of the City Address in January, 2002, and is a further outgrowth
of the report of Imagine.Akron:2025.
The committee appointed by Plusquellic
- John Conti, Councilman-At-Large, City of Akron
- Dr. Tom Gaylord, Vice President and Chief Information
Officer, University of Akron
- Captain James Harris, Akron Police Department
- Stephen Morgan (Chairman), Vice President, FirstEnergy Corp.
- Sharon Rosche, Comptroller, Greater Akron Chamber of
- Richard Stahl, President/CEO, Info Line, Inc.
Ad Hoc members added by the committee to
support its investigation:
- Cathy Watson, Director of Finance, City of Akron
- Diane Miller-Dawson, Deputy Director of Finance, City of
- John Dagilis, VP Administration, Info Line, Inc. (for Mr.
- Mike Giannone, Communications Officer, University of Akron
(for Dr. Gaylord)
A search for candidates to fill the position of Chief
Technology Officer will begin immediately, Plusquellic said. The mayor stated that he has
left vacant the position of Public Utilities Commissioner since the June retirement of
"In todays de-regulated environment of
utilities," the mayor said, "the duties of overseeing utility issues can be
handled by our Law Department. In lieu of filling the position of Public Utilities
Commissioner, I will ask that the salary be reallocated to a Chief Technology Officer for
The Mayor also announced that the city will employ a
Washington D.C. based consulting firm to review Civil Service and help implement the
recommendations of the Technology Committee. Winstead Consulting Group will develop an
inventory of "best practices" from cities across the country, and conduct an
assessment of Akron city government in light of the Technology report. Winstead will
interview department managers, representatives of city bargaining groups, and others; and
will make recommendations in the first quarter of 2003.
Winstead Consulting Group works with local, state, and
federal governments to manage public policy issues. Principals assigned to work on the
Akron project include:
Bruce Todd, a CPA, who played a key role in the high-tech
resurgence of Austin, Texas while mayor, 1991-1997, and who was appointed by the President
to the Federal Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations.
Charles Box, an attorney, who served the city of Rockford,
Illinois in a variety of municipal posts before serving as mayor for 12 years.
Gerald Chattman, managing partner of the Cleveland office
of Buckingham, Doolittle, and Burroughs and a member of its Employment Law Practice Group.
He chairs the Pepper Pike Civil Service Commission as a volunteer member.