The last two nights the department heads or their stand-ins have been busy presenting their budgets as presented in the Mayor’s budget I’ll try to get them done as I have time then post a summary at the end. Here’s the first one.
Here is the IT portion of the budget.
Paul Kronberger says it is roughly the same accounts you have seen for the last few years. Harware and software upgrades covers a lot. He asks for questions.
Moving City Chanel across the street
Larry Palm asks about supplemental request to move City Channel to the City-County Building. Kronberger says it is to consolidate the IT department and make more efficient use of space. When it is in use, the whole room can’t be used. They could also design a smaller studio that would optimize the space. It is an efficiency, staff would be with the rest of the IT staff and it would make better use of staff. It would also free up space in the Municipal Building for future plans. Palm asks if there are operating savings as well? He says it is primarily space savings.
Joe Clausius asks about the surveillance camera system and if they are just adding on to the system. Kronberger asks Rich Beadles from his staff to answer those questions. Beadles says the system is currently live, they have 220 cameras, 4 servers. The money is to replace older cameras and add storage because they keep adding more cameras. Clausius asks if this is the police department and traffic engineering. Beadles says that is correct. Clausius says $25K seems like a small amount. They say they would like more. Laughter.
Mike Verveer asks about the number of cameras in the downtown area, he has a list of where they are being installed and in the $100,000 amendment last year, will that cover all of the list? Beadles says they have done about 1/3 of the cameras and they have spent about 1/3 of the budget so they are on target. Verveer asks if they are doing the priorities of the police department. Beadles says yes. Verveer asks how many cameras will be installed with $25K or is it replacement. Beadles says the fixed position cameras are $1200, the pan tilt zoom cameras are almost double that for the high definition low-light cameras the Madison Police have been requesting. The other part is the back end servers, they want to store 2 weeks of video for every camera in case they need evidence and if they don’t have storage the video is kept less than 2 weeks. Verveer says the $25K is only replacement cameras. Beadles says that is true, they started in 2007 with the cameras on State St. and they will be 7 years old next year and they all need to be replaced. They are old analog type cameras and they need high definition digital cameras in those locations. Verveer asks if they stick with $25K is that only the downtown area. Beadles says it might not cover all of that, they would need to prioritize and they would have no money left over for the servers. Verveer asks if the $100K agency requests cover the server. Beadles says that they ID’d 20 cameras that need to be replaced, a back end server and some money for new cameras based on what is happening in the last few years. Two years ago they put up a bunch of cameras on University Ave and no one budgeted for that. Last year we put in 5 cameras. This year the cameras at the top of State St. there are an additional 6 cameras that were not on the list there. Verveer asks about the way they have been funding our system, with the exception of the utilities, like Parking Utility, do other agencies ever or often use their own appropriated funds for this. Beadles says that traffic engineering does, whenever they have a road project they put money for cameras in to manage traffic through the construction zone. Beadles says the APM says that the cameras should be purchased by the agencies, but historically that is not the way it happens and something comes up throughout the year. So they thought it would be wise to put additional funds in the budget. Verveer asks if the police department ever used their appropriated funds for cameras, like at the district stations. He understands that district stations are requesting cameras to cover their parking lots. Is that something that they have done. Beadles isn’t sure. He says they are updating the interview rooms and that was budgeted for them, he can’t recall anything besides Downtown Safety Initiative.
Here’s the document with the camera list for downtown. Central Camera Working List
Costly ($5M) and Not Functioning City Finance Computer System
Verveer asks about the ERP system project 4, he says it has been around a long time and they spend a lot of money on it with little results. (This is the the finance system for the city – general ledger, payroll etc.) He says they appropriated $1.25M in 2013 and that is delayed so not reauthorizing the money, can you update us on that. Dave Schmeidicke (Director Finance Department) says that he gave an overview to Board of Estimates and it is attached to the item on that agenda. Verveer remembers he was out of town for that. Schmiedicke says that they can find details there but they have taken the $1.25M and that will have to be authorized in the 2015 budget. They have stopped payments to he vendor to try to get a clear timetable and milestones in place. They have spent about $4M and they are withholding about $1M at the moment and the current target is to have it functional on January 1st 2015, but they are discussing functionality and that could result in changes to the time table. They have not paid on invoices they have given us to get leverage to get what we need on a timetable that allows us time to train staff and test the system for a January 1st date. Verveer asks for the written report to be sent to him. Mayore asks if the original “go-live” date was January 1, 2013? Schmiedicke says that originally it was April 2011. That got moved to Jan 2012 and then Jan 2013 and not 2015. The project is more complex than he thinks the vendor originally thought. The city had a very detailed RFP and statement of work that they are working through. Verveer asks if the vendor is cooperative. Schmeidicke says they are. Verveer asks if it is resources. Schmiedicke says that is difficult for us to understand. He thinks they understand the gravity of the situation and want a successful outcome. He says he answered a question from Alder Subeck about that in July and to him he wants to be hopeful that stopping the payments would get the project to a point where we understand the functionality, timeline and milestones. The mayor says the investment is more than the $4M, if that was the only investment he would have recommended throwing in the towel, but we also have 1,000s of hours of city staff time. Schmeidicke says 1,000s and 1,000s. He doesn’t want to get millions of dollars into a project and find out they don’t know how to work with the system and that is why we have stopped payments to try to get their attention and it seems to have worked. Verveer says this is a rhetorical questions but it seems that we selected the wrong vendor years ago. Mayor says don’t get me started. Denise DeMarb asks that given the RFP system is new to her, to have spent 1,000s of hours of staff time I take it that the system was in no way vanilla, how much of it is business as usual by the city instead of taking the software. Kronberger says it is highly customized for the city, that are a lot of specifications spelled out in the RFP and the contracts, this is a customized system. DeMarb says that she is familiar and isn’t surprised they are in this position. The $150,000 is that for one of the modules? What will $150,000 get us. Schmeidicke says they may spend that money in 2014, but they are not reauthorizing the $1.25M because they are withholding all their payments and they would not pay the vendor until they have a successful “go-live” in 2015. He says there are some subcontractors in the system and they may have to make payments on that.
Who is responsible to pay for computer hardware
Palm asks if departments are paying for their own computer hardware and such? Kronberger says not typically, there are some exceptions like enterprise agencies like Metro or the Public Health Department pays for its own pcs. Generally we fund the majority of the computer hardware the city buys. A lot of it is shared services and servers and network equipment and replacement pcs and laptops. Palm asks why they don’t it the same for everything. Beadles that that departments have to pay for new pcs, they pay for replacements. The APM is consistent with that. Palm asks about project 5, the mobile computing laptops, why is that separated, why isn’t that covered in 1? Kronberger says that some of this happened before he got here but that the mobile computing laptops were an initiative by the police and fire department and maybe other public safety departments. In the hardware and software line item says that the laptops that the police and fire use are different and they are getting more tablet mobile computing devices and those are different. It gives mobile capabilities for field work, like in building inspection and such. Line 5 is public safety line item.
Tax System Replacement
Chris Schmidt asks about project 8 and 10, will the changes in 2014 will they be negated by the changes in 2015. Are they throwing away the money or is there a benefit to keep. Kronberger says that the $40K reauthorization is the installment tax payment changes and that is modifications to an existing system that they hope to replace. The new system will replace that.
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