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Published: Wednesday, 10/1/2003

Council creates technology unit

Toledo government has a new department - one charged with the task of bringing the city's computer operations into the 21st century.

City Council voted 12-0 yesterday to create the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

The next step is to appoint a director, at up to $90,000 a year. Council members urged Mayor Jack Ford to make the appointment quickly.

The department will bring together existing administrators, systems analysts, programmers, and operators from other departments to staff the new department, with a budget of $2.2 million a year. City officials said the move won't add to the city's overall costs.

The department would combine 18 existing positions into 17 positions, including the director. Three positions would be created but not yet filled.

Mayor Ford said in a statement relayed through public information officer Mary Chris Skeldon that he was “elated” because creating the department “moves Toledo from a 1970s information-gathering system to 2003.”

In the past, information technology was managed by a commissioner who reported to the director of finance. A study done for the city in 2000 recommended creation of the department.

Councilman Betty Shultz, chairman of council's information technology committee, said the director will be able to advocate for the city's information needs directly to the mayor, rather than having to go through a director who has other concerns.

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