Local CIO With Two Jobs

CIOs with dual responsibilities may become common as government budgets and the pool of experienced public servants shrinks.

by / July 21, 2008

Michael Falkow's situation is unique among CIOs, although not unusual in local government: he has two jobs. He is chief information officer and assistant city administrator for the city of Inglewood, Calif. However, Inglewood's position of city administrator, along with two other assistant city administrators' positions are currently open, leaving Falkow - temporarily - with having to hold down four positions at once.

"Anything and everything that needs to get done tends to fall on those of us who actually work to get things done," Falkow told the Center for Digital Government in a recent interview. "The upside is the tremendous experience.  I volunteered for it; I knew what I was getting myself into.  My boss said it was going to be trial by fire.  Little did I know it was a raging inferno."

Public CIOs talk about having to know the many businesses of government, but Falkow literally practices what others preach. He has to be familiar with public administration, public works, redevelopment, building, planning and finance, to name just a few of his duties he oversees in his dual role. But IT is his number one job.

In an interview with the Center, Falkow elaborates on why he's known as the parking ticket guy, his take on muni WiFi, the challenges of public safety IT and what keeps him up at night.

You can read the entire interview here.

Tod Newcombe, Editor Editor, Public CIO