Sequim City Council hears analysis of IT staff

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM –– In an effort to patch the city’s “duct tape and bailing wire” computer system, City Manager Steve Burkett told the City Council he soon will request permission to hire another computer technician.

The council heard a consultant’s analysis of the city’s information technology system during its regular session Monday night.

Insufficient IT staffing was the primary flaw identified in the city’s system by Mike Montgomery of Presidio Networked Solutions, based in Greenbelt, Md.

Sequim now employs two people — IT manager Steven Rose and system administrator Derek Whitman — to maintain and manage a network of 125 computers.

“This puts the city’s IT infrastructure at serious risk,” Montgomery said.

Service issues, security breaches, the availability to respond to disasters and reliability are all in question in the city’s system because both workers have to spend most of their time repairing individual computers, Montgomery said.

That doesn’t leave the duo enough time to take a look at the configuration of the system, he added.

“They’re doing a great job with just two guys,” Montgomery said. “But they’re just two guys.”

Burkett said he is convinced the city’s computer system needs more attention.

“It’s important that we start improving in this area,” Burkett told the council.

“You will be getting a proposal to add a staff member.”

Councilman Erik Erichsen supported that idea.

“This needs to be addressed yesterday,” he said.

Connections and data storage could be improved when the city builds a new City Hall and police station, Montgomery said, advising construction of state-of-the-art wiring.

Rosy budget report

Administrative services Director Elray Konkel reported later Monday night that the city’s spending plan had a good start to its centennial year.

Higher-than-expected sales tax collections in January, February and March pushed general fund revenues to $1,786,852 — $79,775 above budget.

February and March brought rebounding revenues from the construction sales tax category, Konkel said.

He also credited a thrifty staff for spending $62,226 below the budget figure of $2,132,457 during the first quarter.

Konkel said the city’s operating surplus and $14.8 million in cash holdings at the end of the year’s first quarter are a good “sales pitch” to potential lenders for the $13 million the city expects to bond for the new City Hall.

‘Organic lawn mowing’

Also Monday, the council unanimously approved a license to allow Loren Meyer’s cattle to graze on the undeveloped 45-acre Joseph L. Keeler Memorial Park north of U.S. Highway 101 at Sequim’s east entrance.

“This is an example of why I love living in Sequim,” Councilman Ted Miller said.

Grazing down the grass, City Attorney Craig Ritchie said, would make the park less of a fire hazard.

Meyer will be responsible for ensuring the cows are fenced in.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: April 24. 2013 5:32PM
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