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Chuck Carroll Blog: Cathy Hurlbut Is Right Choice for Circuit Court Clerk

With $12 million on the line for a replacement CMS system the voters of Kane County need to make the right choice.

Endorsing a political candidate is not my modus operandi, but I have too much invested in this issue to not express my beliefs.

Issues surrounding the County Clerk's Office CMS computer systems surfaced about eight months ago, initiated by a The Daily Herald article where the judiciary complained about the system and the replacement was tagged at $12 million. At the same time that the current clerk, Deb Seyller, was suing the county regarding the use of funds, she wanted more.

I spent several hours with the county IT Department, held a brief conversation with Deb Seyller, read the 4-inch binder of meeting minutes from the County Board going back to 2000, talked to the current vendor for several hours, read the URL consulting evaluation of the current system, and then I framed all that with my 25 years of systems consulting experience.

The current system is a failure; we have overspent tax dollars and do not have an adequate system. Why?

1. The system was “snuck in the back door." Meeting minutes show that Deb Seyller did not approach the whole needs of the project at any one time. It was underfunded from the start, not compliant with what I would think is a proper procurement process, and had limited commitment from other users outside the clerk’s office.

2. The scope of the system increased dramatically, caused by both new required functionality and the desire of the clerk to be a CIO. She was not qualified, and as a result, poor technology decisions were made.

3. The system resided in the Circuit Clerk’s Office, and the judiciary seems to be an accidental tourist. Deb says the system is not a failure, and yet the judiciary is complaining, and we might have lost substantial state funding due to inadequacy.

The Kane County IT Department is world class; I hang with these types all the time and know a good IT organization when I see one. I have discussed with the director the issues as we both know them; his approach to resolution is methodical and on track. When the county IT Department takes ownership of this system, the judiciary and taxpayers of Kane County will be much better served.

There is only one candidate that specifically commits to turning the CMS system over to the county IT Department: Cathy Hurlbut. Her election will get the right solution for the judiciary and save the taxpayers of Kane County millions.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jeff Ward March 13, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Dear T., Though I will not make it a practice to answer you, I have to expand my own FOIA request to include FACTS emails that while they aren't official FOIA form requests, have to be considered as such by the district. So it's gonna take a little more time. Jeff
MattG March 13, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Jeff Ward - chief attack poodle of the Lauzen clan. Ever submit the documentation so Lauzen can properly claim your work as an in-kind contribution?
Jeff Ward March 13, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Matt, Please! I prefer attack Chihuahua. And what work might that be? If I had to keep track and report on all the advice I so freely offer any politician that comes to me, then that's all I'd be doing. To make matters much worse, I could probably count the number of times any of 'em take that advice on one hand. I've even tried to offer help to the Burns campaign through two different channels (The bus? Running as a Democrat? Calling Chris a homo-phobe?), but, alas, it has fallen on deaf ears. Jeff
Jamiedog March 13, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Oh for God's sake--you all sound like third-graders on the playground!
Jeff Ward March 13, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Julie, You're probably right - but he did it first! Jeff

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