Complaints over Louisa County’s IT services from a Burlington firm were presented by several county department heads to the Louisa County Board of Supervisors during the board’s meeting Tuesday.
J&S Electronics was given a three-year contract in 2018 to provide IT services, following the retirement of former county IT director Chuck Borschel. According to county officials, the company receives just under $7,000 a month under the contract.
However, during Tuesday’s board meeting, the department heads said they had lost trust in the firm and were frustrated over what they indicated was the company’s inability to maintain the county’s IT equipment and networks.
“We all typed up a letter of our concerns,” county treasurer Vicki Frank said, adding some of the concerns were likely confidential because they had been discussed several weeks ago during a closed meeting on IT security issues.
However, Frank said one incident she was upset over had happened several weeks ago when J&S technicians attempted to update a computer used by one of her office staff.
Frank said the network anti-virus protection apparently blocked the update and it took the technicians nearly two hours before the computer was back up and running.
“Had that happened with every computer in my office, I would have had no production in my office for nearly two hours, and that’s not acceptable,” she told supervisors Brad Quigley and Chris Ball.
Supervisor Randy Griffin was absent while recovering from recent surgery and other health issues.
Frank also said she had a major concern over the company’s management of the county’s IT backup processes and system.
“We get emails that say (a backup) was successful, but I have no idea it is. I would like to be able to see proof. I would like them to open it back up and show me those payments are there,” she said, adding it was her responsibility to ensure those records were maintained.
“That’s our main concern, the confidence we don’t have,” she said.
County assessor Cathy Smith agreed.
Smith said an error message that was coming up on the county’s email system indicated a certificate may not be properly licensed and she urged the board to look at other options.
“If we don’t look, we won’t find a better solution,” she said.
County recorder Tammy Hayes, county conservation board director Katie Hammond, general assistance director Cyndi Mears and county auditor Sandi Elliott all echoed the other department heads’ comments.
Elliott said trust was the key issue with J&S.
“I’m just frustrated beyond belief with dealing with J&S,” she said, explaining the company had provided the county with wonderful service for its copiers and other office equipment.
However, the story was different with the IT service.
“I feel they are in over their heads with this IT, and I feel they are just treading water to keep their head above water and they don’t know what to do,” Elliott said.
Quigley thanked the department heads for providing the information, but no other action was taken during the meeting. However, later in the day, the supervisors announced a meeting would be held Thursday with Jon Hartman of Reliable Network Solutions, Muscatine, to discuss the county’s IT system.
In other action, the supervisors:
• Approved the one-lot Bradley Bell Subdivision.
• Received monthly updates from public health administrator Roxanne Smith and veterans affairs director Adam Caudle.
• Learned from county engineer Larry Roehl and assistant engineer Adam Shutt that Iowa Highway 92 could possibly remain closed all summer and that a portion of H Avenue east of Grandview would need to be relocated because of a hillslide.