FLINT TWP. — Citing the need to cut costs, the township board voted to eliminate its in-house Information Technology Support staffperson and to contract with an outside company.
But it was a close call.
In the first of two actions, the board voted 4-3 in favor of eliminating the I.T. position that according to Trustee Frank Kasle has been filled by the same person for 10 years.
The elimination vote followed a failed 4-3 vote to allow that person, who was in the audience, to make a statement.
Kasle, who voted no against eliminating the position with trustee George Menoutes and Treasurer Marsha Binelli, made the motion to allow the I.T. person to address the board, sec- onded by Menoutes.
Kasle asked how much the board would save by eliminating the position.
Trustee Belenda Parker provided figures she said came from professional services indicating that the I.T. person’s wages and fringes amounted to about $90,000 a year.
It was estimated that the I,T. contract subsequently awarded to I.T. Right, located in Bath, would cost less than $25,000 a year.
Menoutes also questioned the job status of the long-time I.T. worker, whether he had been laid-off or dismissed.
Supervisor Karyn Miller said he was on administrative leave but did not elaborate,
Menoutes asked if he had been doing a bad job and Miller responded that she would not discuss personnel matters in a public meeting. She also said she did not want to allow the departing I.T. person to address the board but said Kasle could make a motion to do so if he wanted to.
Miller said the position outsourcing was budget related, in light of a looming deficit of over $1 million.
Moving on to the second action item, the board in a 6-1 vote approved the contract with I.T. Right, which has similar contracts with about 300 municipalities statewide including Mundy Township, Flushing and the City of Grand Blanc locally.
Menoutes cast the lone no vote, saying he did not believe hiring an outside contractor would make that much difference financially.
Before the final vote, Kasle moved to table the contract until the next board meeting to give the ousted I.T. support specialist an opportunity to apply for the contract.
“I understand he was paid more than this ($25,000) but he should should have been given an opportunity to make a proposal,” Kasle said, adding that the person had worked on a contract basis before being hired.
His motion was defeated 4-3 with Kasle, Menoutes and Binelli voting in favor.
Miller also noted that Police Chief George Sippert, who was not present, also favored the I.T. Right proposal over two others under consideration. The police department also requires I.T. support services.