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Lee County Board approves new GIS, IT employee

Chairwoman: Position could be filled in 2-3 months

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – The Lee County Board on Tuesday took a step to bring in a new employee to help with internal efficiency.

During its regular meeting, the board unanimously approved a hiring proposal to add a position to handle geographic information systems and information technology. The county could have the position posted in January and filled in 2 to 3 months, said Judy Truckenbrod, chairwoman of the Administrative Services Committee, which proposed the new position.

“This is a position that would affect all departments,” she said. “It would increase the efficiency of both the GIS positions in the county an the IT positions in the county.”

Currently, Mike McBride is the county’s only employee in the IT department. He is also working to get the different county departments on the same GIS system. The workload on one employee, Truckenbrod said, is slowing things down.

Because the position is being added after the budget for next year was approved, the money for the salary and benefits will have to be allocated through a budget amendment, Truckenbrod said.

“It would’ve been good if we had one prior to the budget,” she said in an interview after the meeting. “... But as we went through the budget process this year, and heard the new systems that departments were having to implement, we could see the work piling on Mike McBride.”

Truckenbrod hadn’t planned to take the issue to the County Board until the January meeting, she said, but in discussions with other committees and departments, the need became clear.

During Tuesday morning’s meeting, Lee County State’s Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller offered to help the county pay for the position with money from her department’s cash funds, if the law allows.

Lee County Board Chairman Rick Ketchum said the county had several options to move funds for the position.

Board Member David Gusse said that having an employee dedicated to the GIS systems meant the county would see greater efficiency in computer repairs and issues.

“I’m not real crazy about spending extra money. ... But there are times when there is a real need,” he said. “This is one of those times.”

Currently, the county has a part-time employee in the assessor’s office to work on some of the GIS issues, Truckenbrod said, adding that the new position will also be a backup to McBride for IT issues.

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