EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 8, 2013

Game Over: Council rejects Zanni's IT plan


“To me it’s a very biased assessment,” said Councilor Jamie Atkinson. “It’s done by the company that was getting the job.”

The mayor’s plan called for the layoff of three of the four municipal IT employees — IT director Kingsley Lough, Network Administrator Bill Lasonde, and Information Systems Technician Peter Stone.

At a public hearing last week, Kannan said representatives of Corporate IT Solutions claimed they interviewed all of Methuen’s IT employees during their assessment. But when Kannan called on Lough and Lasonde to speak last night, both said they were never interviewed by the company.

“These people stood in front of all nine of us,” said Kannan. “I will not be lied to.”

Zanni hoped to pay Corporate IT Solutions $204,036 per year to manage the city’s IT needs. Councilor Michael Condon said he suspected additional fees for after-hours service were buried deep within the contract.

Condon also offered a broader criticism of Zanni, questioning the mayor’s handling of the city ambulance-rate increase, which was delayed for several months, as well as the escalating cost of floor repairs at the Central Fire Station on Lowell Street.

“I respect Mr. Zanni. He’s a gentleman,” said Condon. “But the way some of these things have been handled, it’s just unbelievable.”

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