Bartholomew County officials work to maintain IT Department

Bartholomew County officials are scrambling to come up with a cost-effective method for manning and maintaining the county’s Information Technology Department.

Currently, there is no IT Director. County Commissioner Rick Flohr says that the county has gone through three directors in a very short period of time. Two of them, he says, left for better-paying jobs elsewhere. Flohr says that even though these professionals find the job fulfilling in other ways, the county will continue to have a revolving door at the leadership level. He added that the turnover not only results in the loss of manpower, but most-importantly, knowledge.

Flohr, representing the commissioners, says that the only way to fix the problem is to increase the pay-scale for the IT Director. Doing so, he explained, would help the county lure, as well as keep, qualified professionals. Flohr says that without the change, the county will never be able to compete with the private sector for the most qualified applicants. Under the proposal put forth during Tuesday night’s meeting of the County Council, he recommended that the pay scale be increased to a minimum of $78,000 to a maximum of $92,000 per year. Currently, that position pays just over $65,000, said Flohr. Members of the council seemed to recognize the problem, as they, and the commissioners, discussed the possibility of the pay-scale needing to be increased to $100,000, or more.

The council approved the request. Commissioners will advertise the position in the hopes of it being filled as soon as possible.

While officials work to bring in a new IT Director, the county’s remaining IT staff is picking up the slack. Flohr told the council that these three people are working harder, and longer. He notes that two of them are receiving nothing for the extra effort, beyond comp-time.

Flohr asked the council to approve a temporary change that allows the remaining staff members to be paid overtime. The council voted to approve the request. That additional expense is expected to go away, or diminish significantly, once a new IT Director is hired and acclimated.

The council approved that request, as well.