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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The hunt is on for County IT/GIS position

Friday, March 11, 2011

Security cameras feed to LEC not hooked up

The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors held a relatively short meeting on Tuesday at the Cherokee County Courthouse. The only person on the Board's agenda was Kristi Petersen, Cherokee County Human Resources Director, who discussed general business.

Petersen told the Board that she and County Assessor Bob Hart would soon be looking for a person to fill the new position of the Assessor's former Geographic Information Systems (GIS) position that will be combined with an Information Technician (IT) position.

She said that they would be focusing more on an IT person who could be cross-trained for the GIS position. She will also be checking with other counties in the area to see how they handle their IT departments and will be using a wide net to find someone for this new position. She added that people skills are a must.

She told the Board that experienced IT's salaries are all over the pay spectrum, anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 annually. She also stated that she been reaching out to other departments within Cherokee County to see what their technical needs are, but has not received a lot of feedback so far.

In other business on the Board's agenda, was again the issue of the Courthouse Cameras. At last week's meeting Sheriff Dave Scott addressed concerns that there is no live monitoring of the hallways at the Courthouse. Concerns of a nightmare situation of a crazed gunman shooting or holding county employees hostage were among the public safety arguments brought up by Scott. Scott told the Board at that time a live monitoring of the Courthouse would help responding officers in the apprehension and the monitoring an event of said madman.

However, the question of who would be the person monitoring the live feed was then debated. Since the Courthouse is located in the city of Cherokee, response of any incidents at the Courthouse would fall to the Cherokee Police Department. With most deputies usually scattered throughout the county on regular business, the Board agreed that it would be a faster response from the CPD.

County offices are equipped with panic buttons and both the Cherokee Sheriff Office and the CPD respond to the Courthouse if a button is pressed.

Scott argued that the live feed of the security cameras should be placed at the Cherokee County Communication Center in the Sheriff's Department so during a situation they can monitor events and relay to both county and city officers.

After discussing the issue at length, including hearing a heated exchange between Scott and Auditor Kris Glienke over the camera system feed, the Board ultimately approved a live feed to be placed at the Cherokee Communication Center.

However, it would be a view only of the Courthouse. The recording of activities will still be housed at the County Auditor's office. Glienke told Scott at last week's meeting that a work order to have the monitors at the County Communication Center connected was already in the works.

During this week's meeting, Glienke told the Board that a service technician, Chuck Nielson of Network Visions of Marcus, arrived to the Cherokee Law Enforcement Center on Monday to install the connection but was denied entry to the LEC. Subsequently the monitors were not connected to the Courthouse Cameras.

This action apparently bewildered the Board and Supervisor Larry Prunty expressed this tone by commenting, "They wanted to be secure but now they won't let the tech in?"

Scott was not on Tuesday's agenda to explain why the tech wasn't let in to the LEC, nor did the Board attempt to contact Scott to find out why at the time of Tuesday's meeting.

Supervisor Dean Schmidt wanted to check into seeing if there would be some kind of audit system on the security cameras to make sure that the cameras are being used for what they're supposed to be. Glienke said she would have the service tech contact Schmidt. The item was then tabled for further discussion.

The Board also discussed the State Audit draft and response, moreover the lack of response to the audit by the Cherokee County Attorney. The annual State Audit deadline was this week and it was noted that the County Attorney has failed to respond to questions from the State Audit. Also the Audit response from the Cherokee County Sheriff was rejected by the Board but was sent as is.

The Board attempted to get answers and a prompt response from County Attorney Ryan Kolpin and Sheriff Scott, but heard nothing by Tuesday's Board meeting. The Board then duly noted the County Treasure and County Auditor, who both complied with the State Audit, and stated that those who haven't responded (Kolpin and Scott) are on their own and will have to deal with the State.

On Friday, the elevator at the Cherokee County Courthouse was inspected and a hydraulic cylinder and a support beam was found not compliant by new State regulations.

The Board approved getting the elevator in compliances before July 1 or the elevator will be shut down.

The Board also approved to amend the Public Health Grant Contract that reduced the contract by $5,000 from the State of Iowa for Home Care Aide.

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