Edwardsville, Ill., Reformats Its IT Department

In a unanimous decision, city aldermen created the Information Technology and Communications Department and shifted an IT specialist into a leadership role.

by Steve Horrell, Edwardsville Intelligencer / June 27, 2018

(TNS) – EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The city has hired Devin Gray to run its newly-created Information Technology and Communications Department.

The action was taken after closed session at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, where aldermen unanimously approved an ordinance that at once established an ITC department and also named Gray as director.

In truth, it was less a matter of hiring a new employee than of shifting an experienced one into the new slot. Gray has actually been working for the city since October of 2013 when he was hired as an information technology specialist.

The hiring coincides with a merger of the Information Technology staff – currently assigned to the City Clerk’s office – with the Edwardsville Cable Television Department to create the new Information Technology and Communications Department.

Gray was recommended by Mayor Hal Patton. He will report to City Administrator Tim Harr.

Gray will receive an annual salary of $85,000.

The creation of an ITC Department comes as city officials search for better ways to inform the public of its business.

For years they relied on outlets such as Channel 10 to get the word out. Charter Communications took ECTV’s coverage of meetings, student projects and various other events and broadcast them over Channel 10. For whatever business reason, Charter moved coverage to Channel 993.

“A lot of folks can’t even find it,” Harr said.

And as some residents switched from coaxial cable to satellite dishes, even fewer residents were able to tune in to ECTV’s broadcasts.

“What we’re trying to figure out is not how to move away from the cable television network but how to advance our abilities to communicate to the public … what else is out there?” Harr said.

Gray, he said, was instrumental in the city’s efforts to update its website.

He worked “very hard” and “very closely” on that, and also better organized the city’s use of Facebook and other social media.

Gray will also be responsible for developing policies and procedures for the new department, Harr said.

For a while, residents were able to tune in to Facebook for live coverage of City Council meetings.

In the past year, Gray’s work time has mostly been spent planning and implementing cameras, door locks and other security system features at the Edwardsville Public Safety Building on Plum Street.

And while the city did contract part of that work out to REJIS, and Fowler Technology helped with larger projects, Harr said Gray “was a one-man show” for the Public Safety project.

In addition to hiring Gray and creating the new department, aldermen also approved moving John Cunningham, ECTV’s Director of Production and Programming, over to ITC to become the department’s deputy director. Cunningham worked closely with Gray to update the city’s website, and the pair will continue to collaborate on updates and other tasks.

“We will continue to do the things we have traditionally done with ECTV, but we’re going to look at what other technologies are out there to help us improve,” Harr said.

Complementing the new department are a senior video technician and a part-time video technician. Harr said the city also plans to hire an Information Technology Network Analyst in the near future.

©2018 Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Ill.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Platforms & Programs