Chesterton Tribune



Commissioners to audit county IT system

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Porter County Commissioner President Jeff Good, R-Center, called the infrastructure that runs the County’s IT system “old,” “slow,” and “archaic” at Tuesday’s Commissioners meeting.

Good and the other Commissioners are looking to have an audit done on the system to find what steps they should take to update it.

“This board has made it our mission to make our IT system much more timely. The equipment expires and wears out very quickly,” Good said. “We have directed (County IT Director) Don Wellsand to put some numbers together and having companies come do an IT audit for Porter County. I think it’s long overdue.”

The goal is not only to make the computers more user-friendly for county employees but also residents who use the county’s services online.

“The future lies in computers,” said Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North. “People are doing more and more online. We are a service-driven operation here, so people look for our help online.”

Biggs said the audit will show any “redundancies” in the departments and will let them know if anything needs to be changed out or get rid of.

“It’s in our best interest to know what we have, where it’s at and what’s its value,” Biggs added.

Good said he has discussed with Wellsand about what can be done within the budget. “We don’t have a proposal yet but we need to see what we get for with this money.”

Commissioner Laura Shurr Blaney she sees no downside to do the audit. “We need to do it.”

Election Equipment

The topic of updating computer systems segued into the Election Board and Voters Registration, which hopes to replace its voting equipment from 2005.

“Like when you were talking about the IT audit, the future is computers,” said Sundae Schoon, Republican director of the Voters Registration Office. “We have outgrown our current equipment and it’s a lot more work than it needs to be.”

New equipment will create a more “seamless” election process, Schoon said, and provide more accurate counts.

Voters Registration Democrat Director Kathy Kozuszek said she has been told by the provider that the equipment told her the equipment is in “excellent” condition but she feels it is not being stored well. She requests that the new contract have a buyback option when the office wants new equipment.

New equipment won’t drive up voter turnout but it will help results be tallied quicker, Kozuszek said. The Election Board usually stays hours on election night because of precinct totals not balancing.

Blaney said the main concern from constituents is security. Schoon said the new machines don’t have Internet connection so they cannot be hacked. Electronic pollbooks have had Internet connections but the information there is public record, she said.

Election Board President David Bengs said that the board would like to do an entire overview of the election process this year since it is an off-year. Good gave the permission for the board to proceed and commended them for working together.

Opera House Upgrades

Next, the Commissioners signed off on the Memorial Opera House to appropriate $7,779 from an Indiana Arts Commission Operational Support Grant to purchase new equipment for its box office.

MOH Business Director Scot MacDonald said the ticket scanners are 12 years old and are near the end of their life cycle and the ticket printer is running slow. The replacement equipment will help the venue keep up with demand as turnout for shows and events increases.

Another grant will be used to retain a design professional to develop a project manual of what refurbishments need to be done, including interior and exterior features as well as plumbing.

MacDonald said the Opera House’s Foundation is leading fundraising efforts to find more money and lessen the burden on the county’s budget.


Posted 8/17/2017




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