This weeks article in the Tribune entitled “New server paves way for new software” reported on the county’s recent purchase of software at a cost of $218,595 and a maintenance/enhancement fee of $41,000. Now we read in order to utilize the new software a new server was needed.
Obviously the county commission was aware of this need prior to buying the software but somehow that information was neglected in last weeks reporting. So now we can say that this purchase is costing $227,595 plus a maintenance/enhancement fee of $41,000.
Another little tidbit of information in this weeks report was that this new software will allow scanning all documents into a digital format and produce “real-time” reports which is something the county currently can’t do. Does this mean that now the county will be buying scanners for all the users of the new software? How much is that going to cost?
One must wonder if the cost of buying and installing scanners for all employees utilizing the new software will even get reported. Will the scanners be purchased in bulk or will each department purchase them separately, possibly falling below the amount that requires commission approval? Are the taxpayers ever going to know the full cost of this purchase? Does anyone know what the final cost is going to be? If not, why not? If someone does know why hasn’t it been reported in it’s totality? It is starting to appear as though someone is trying to keep the public in the dark. I sure hope that’s not the case.
One other interesting fact in the most recent story about this purchase was that the new software “will be compatible with the new state mandated program utilized by the Appraiser’s Office”. It is my understanding that this “new” state mandated program in the Appraiser’s Office has been in use for sometime now, several years in fact. The paper’s reporting makes it sound as though this is brand new.
Again, I do not begrudge the employees at the county having what is required to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. I hope the commission will work to be as open about their transactions with taxpayer money as possible and that the paper would report accurately and thoroughly on that spending.