12/21/2005: "Open Letter to County Commissioners"
Dear County Commissioners
I believe you have taken a very expensive and potentially dangerous path by not retaining the county auditor's experience and abilities, to install the new county accounting system.
I have a degree in computer science and systems analysis. A systems analyst specializes in analyzing a company's operations and then designing software systems that fit their needs.
I have been the project officer in charge of installing a large system that involved 26 different Air Force bases and training hundreds of individuals to utilize the system. In addition, we installed about $10 million of new computer equipment required to operate the new system.
My training and experience tells me that you cannot possibly succeed without people involved who intimately know the system that is being replaced and then trained thoroughly on the new system. Transfer of data from the old system to the new system can be lost, changed or made nearly impossible to locate and use if the new system is not also understood.
The argument that other employee's morale and feelings would be hurt by paying someone extra to accomplish the installation tasks is very short sighted and potentially extremely expensive.
As a taxpayer in this county I am really shocked at your decision to not take advantage of every opportunity to keep this installation in-house and to not utilize the expertise that already exists.
There is nothing wrong in changing your minds and re-employing the county auditor for this purpose. I can tell you that you will save many times the dollars that you will spend on outside "experts" who will be happy to run up a huge bill while learning our current system and then even further expenses in attempting to make the new system work.
John F. Kalbert