City council voted Monday night to hire a full-time desktop support technician for the information technology department as a contracted position through a Wilmington-based IT consulting firm.
The decision passed 5 to 2 with council members Jerry Clifton and Jen Wallace as the opposing votes.
In January, IT Manager Josh Brechbuehl asked council for an additional full-time desktop support technician to help manage the increasing workload, but council said no. Instead, council voted to seek an outsourced solution to fill the position until more data could be gathered over a longer time period, so Brechbuehl reached out to local and regional IT consulting firms to fill the role.
Eight firms recently submitted proposals, but Brechbuehl told council on Monday that Brandywine Technology from Wilmington was the best option. The firm has agreed to charge $34.78 an hour for its services to the city, which is equal to a weekly cost of approximately $1,300 and yearly cost of $67,800.
The contract with Brandywine Technology would be for a one-year period, renewable for an additional year if approved by city council. Brechbuehl said funds to cover the cost are available in ITâs 2017 operating budget, as well as from personnel savings generated from vacant positions within the IT staff.
Brechbuehl anticipates the position will be permanently necessary moving forward and IT will budget accordingly, but some members of council werenât so sure.
Councilman Chris Hamilton questioned if IT really needs the extra manpower.
Brechbuehl explained that in the time the city has had a temporary desktop support technician contractor, the department has seen a sharp increase in the speed in which support issues have been resolved. The extra person also allows IT to respond to two issues at the same time and gives the city consistent coverage when the…