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May 7, 2014

Information technology privatization unanimously OK'd

(Continued)

Avoiding layoffs also was important to changing their votes, both said.

“Utilizing those two employees was key,” Ferry said.

Two councilors, Thomas Ciulla and Sean Fountain, were absent. Last year, Ciulla voted in favor while Fountain voted against.

Joshua Dinneen, vice president of sales and marketing for Corporate IT Solutions, gave a brief presentation for the councilors last night and answered questions about their service and the cost.

He said the company would have an engineer on site in Methuen during regular business hours, and their call center would be available to address problems if the on-site engineer is tied up with other work.

Seven-day, 24-hour service for public safety computer and network systems, including site visits, would not cost extra, Dinneen said. “We know public safety is a priority. There won’t be costs associated with that,” he said.

The proposal promises to save the city $536,617 over the course of five years. Year one would actually cost about $18,000 more than keeping the current IT department because the city would have to buy out vacation and sick leave for the employees who leave city employment. The first year of the contract also includes an extra six weeks, from May 15 to June 30.

Cost savings begin in the second year, according to the proposal, which was prepared by Corporate IT Solutions, and continue through 2019.

The company will maintain, monitor, update and secure the computer networks in City Hall, the Police Department, the Fire Department and in public works and water and sewer buildings.

A committee of councilors and School Committee members are reviewing ways to combine certain functions that overlap in both the city and schools, such as purchasing, IT and legal services. Zanni said an evaluation should be conducted on the School Department’s network before a discussion of privatizing that service could happen.

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