Check out the RFQ for I.T. services over on the City's website here: http://www.cityofpeachtreecornersga.com/COPC_IT_SVCS_RFQ.pdf
As someone who voted for the new city, it's time for me to eat a little crow. I believed the things the candidates said about how our city would be different, how it would be a "city-lite." Clearly this is not the case, given the extensive I.T. wish list they have put together. So here are the top 5 items in this RFQ that are a waste of your money.
5.) Their very own computer help desk (section III, b, 1.1, L) - The city only has a handful of full-time employees who might require technical support and yet they are asking for a fully staffed help desk Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. I think there is potential for a lot of idle time here.
4.) 24/7/365 On Call Technical Support (section III, a, 9) - If you thought a fully staffed help desk during normal business hours was going to be expensive, that will be nothing compared to this. Why would the city need this? Just wait, the answer is further down the list.
3.) A 36 month contract (section V) - Technically the contract is for 12 month periods that can be extended by the city council for up to three years. The catch here is that the council can't initiate a bidding process. It's up to the the new city manager to get the bids and submit them to the council. What are the chances of the city manager doing the extra legwork to rebid it every year to make sure we are getting a good deal?
2.) A Sealed Cost Proposal (section VI, 3, c) - The city council does not want anyone to know exactly what the proposed costs are. Once they pick a vendor, there will be no way to tell if they chose the most cost effective vendor or not, because no one will be able to see the bid price of the vendors who were not chosen. Should we just trust them? I think not.
1.) On Site Servers and Data Storage (section III, b, 1.1, k) - This is where your money goes to die. The idea of maintaining data servers in the local city hall is ludicrous from a cost perspective. In a time when corporations (and even the federal government) are moving away from local servers like the plague, our city leaders are determined to have our very own server room inside city hall. The primary reason cited is "security." The idea that our city hall will be a more secure location than a managed data center with state of the art security, fire suppression, and redundant power is simply ignorant. This is why they will need 24/7/365 technical support. Just ask the other cities that host their own data centers. Once we get locked into this there will be no going back for three to five years at least.
What do we do about it?
All this seems like a lot of infrastructure for a city that was only supposed to manage zoning, code enforcement, and solid waste removal. What happened to the concept of a limited services government? Where did that go?
If you want to try to get your new city to keep its promise to be a limited services government, please contact your city council representative and the mayor to make your voice heard.