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Oy VEY!!

The Agenda software debate continues, and took up several minutes of yesterday's BUDGET COMMITTEE meeting .

This makes me wonder how Moss has purchased and already begun using his "PEAK" system without the Legislature allocating funds?

 

The Legislature is proposing replacing Novus (which is retiring soon), with another system of their own choosing.  

This new, new system (CivicPlus) sounds better. It is $10k less per year than Moss's "PEAK", and will import the Novus archives (which Novus does not). 

Edited by MsKreed

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Import of the archived meetings should have been a major selling point and priority. 

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the committee is acting surprised and ignorant of the Execs actions; its disturbing since it is they who hold the purse strings. the request for expenditures would have HAD to cross their desk at some point and be approved. are we to believe they did so without question/discussion, or is it a result of like they did that night; approve bonding/ spending without knowing how many windows or signs they get for the money?

as to Legislature using what system, cool, civic is 10k less, did they reach out to peak and ask since exec side is buying, is there a further discount if they use it too? very concerning that PEAK owns granicus/novus but how is it they own the old system but the information wont be stored or searchable? i guess id like to hear more from Moss as to how he decided to use it knowing it wouldnt cross over.

it was nice to hear Rodney ask about migration and basically working with the Exec, but the to hear Legislator Smith pipe in....since his 1st term, you can really tell mr Smith has a class-1 hardon for Moss and im thinking he pushes this attitude upon others making and in turn both sides dig their heels in, making cooperation more realistic amongst toddlers than this group

in the end it should not be our system versus exec system...ffs, just get the system that will store searchable archived info and will communicate seamlessly between the two branches

Edited by Adam

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so both Legislative Clerks have now resigned....wonder if thats anything to do with majority of the members being a waste of taxpayers money

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Considering that Granicus has not provided adequate support for their Streaming platform, it does not give me a lot of confidence in their PEAK agenda software that the Exec purchased. 

I'm further amazed that a few people commented on Strange's post that the County should consider hiring outside IT services to get the Streaming issues resolved. 

For the $26k/year subscription that we are paying them, Granicus should be able to work with our County IT Department.  And if we need "outside experts" because the County IT Department isn't proficient enough to handle it, the Legislature should be considering whether the 15 FTE employees with a payroll of over $800k/year plus benefits are a good investment. 

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3 hours ago, MsKreed said:

the Legislature should be considering whether the 15 FTE employees with a payroll of over $800k/year plus benefits are a good investment. 

not that i disagree, but all that will accomplish is to further the pissing in each other's sandboxes as i believe the "control" of IT is the Exec's area

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5 hours ago, MsKreed said:

Considering that Granicus has not provided adequate support for their Streaming platform, it does not give me a lot of confidence in their PEAK agenda software that the Exec purchased. 

I'm further amazed that a few people commented on Strange's post that the County should consider hiring outside IT services to get the Streaming issues resolved. 

For the $26k/year subscription that we are paying them, Granicus should be able to work with our County IT Department.  And if we need "outside experts" because the County IT Department isn't proficient enough to handle it, the Legislature should be considering whether the 15 FTE employees with a payroll of over $800k/year plus benefits are a good investment. 

YES!! This.

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12 hours ago, Adam said:

not that i disagree, but all that will accomplish is to further the pissing in each other's sandboxes as i believe the "control" of IT is the Exec's area

I have no doubt that de-funding a few positions in a department that Moss oversees will cause more friction.  But that shouldn't be an excuse, if the IT department is not effective, to keep wasting money on an over-bloated staff . 

There is no justification to spend more than we already are on Information Technology.  If we are forced to pay an "expert", then such expert should be used instead of a portion of the IT payroll....not "in addition to". 

 

And honestly, Moss himself has been more than happy to 'stick it' to staff under his control.  The week he was sworn in (January 2019) he asked the Legislature to slash the pay of all of his department heads (non-elected civilian staff -- some perfectly effective, not deficient in any way).

 

This included the previous IT Director, and resulted in him choosing to retire immediately from a job he was great at. If he stayed a couple of more years (as intended), the lowered salary could have lowered his average income and reduced his pension for life.  The notice Moss gave on cutting their salaries was not only during Christmas Season....it was so short that the man didn't have time to retire before the New year (under the best terms for his 38 years of dedicated service), and needed to request special Legislature approval to extend his benefits (See HERE). 

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A few things to weigh in with:

The original Novus system was not implemented at the request of the exec branch as had been said by another member of the community in other forums. It was at the request of the then clerks to make their job easier with dealing with route slips. 

The executive branch can not tell the Legislative branch what software to use to do it's job and vice versa so when it comes to how the exec communicates and get route slip information from the dept heads, he can do it however he wants. Carrier pigeons. Telegram. Chalkboard meetings. Whatever. 

The Novous system was adopted by previous execs for simple ease and streamline but the clerks had the administrative access. (A comment was made that Moss doesn't like the clerks to be able to see the process until he has finalized things on his end. )
Novus will no longer be supported after July so a new system does need to be in place. Granicus/Peak has bought the Novus platform and in 2022 the Legislature did approve for the Granicus system to be used for the live streaming and web services - but not approved as a replacement for the legislative route slip system. Research was showing that there were too many issues and even though it had bought out Novus, it would not migrate the years of archives over. 

The blow up of this issue came about due to the exec choosing the Peak system - which maybe in the buried fine print of approving Peak for the web services, had the route slip system included in contract - and telling the Granicus team to not speak talk to any member of the legislative body and to not give the clerks administrative access to the system. 

The legislative leadership team was looking at Civic Plus already due to the fact that they will migrate the old archives seamlessly, it is being used by multiple other legislative bodies within the state, AND talking with other municpalities that have used Peak, they are making the switch over to Civic Plus because Peak just does not deliver for the needs. 

Now again, if the exec wants to use Peak to gather the information from his department heads, he is more than welcome to BUT the rules and procedures set in place by the legislature in 2008 state that in order to do business with us, the exec branch needs to follow the rules of putting his information into our system. If the rules said he needed to submit route slips to us on the back of a 50 year old land tortoise that we would provide, then that's how it would need to be done. Not because there is a want of a pissing match, but because we all know there is need for procedures to be set out to keep things running smoothly. 

Now my personal opinion - I don't care what software is use as long as it does the job. My issue with this (along with others that I am jumping into the hot pan regarding and will be putting a target on my back of being one who does not comply so stay tuned! LOL) is that there has to be communication and collaboration and that is not happening and while this issue seems to be silly and a waste of time/money and taking us away from doing the real work we should be focusing on, this idea that we can constantly be steam rolled into compliance can not continue. And that is why the leadership is making this a fight. And as frustrated as I am, I will stand behind the leadership and our attorny and let them fight this fight as they see fit.

We do not have department heads coming to meetings to answer questions. We play the back and forth game and just don't get good information to make decisions. And I'm really to the point that I feel like I need to vote against everything brought to us because of the refusal of communication which would not be in the best interest of the community but as with everything in this world, things seems to be reaching boiling points. 

I will try to keep popping in and giving my feedback as I can. I'm full throttle in every area of life right now. 

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Thanks for keeping us posted, Lawana. 

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Thank you Lawana.

I agree that it's appropriate for the Legislative Clerks to administer whatever Agenda platform is chosen, and that it is the Legislature's job to compare and choose a platform. This is the precedent since 2008, and the correct process.

 

1 hour ago, Lawana Morse said:

Now again, if the exec wants to use Peak to gather the information from his department heads, he is more than welcome to BUT the rules and procedures set in place by the legislature in 2008 state that in order to do business with us, the exec branch needs to follow the rules of putting his information into our system.

As long as his choice for an internal system for the Exec branch does not require a duplicated expense for taxpayers. The Granicus distributor has shown very poor reliability and inadequate support for the Streaming platform.  I recall the streaming failures for at least 2 months (for the 12/11 meeting when Legislative salaries were passed). Approving more money for a vendor that is not meeting its commitment is a ridiculous waste. 

 

And I agree with this:

1 hour ago, Lawana Morse said:

We do not have department heads coming to meetings to answer questions. We play the back and forth game and just don't get good information to make decisions. And I'm really to the point that I feel like I need to vote against everything brought to us because of the refusal of communication which would not be in the best interest of the community but as with everything in this world, things seems to be reaching boiling points. 

Setting expectations and demanding accountability for the expenditures that each department is requesting is not unreasonable. In fact it's irresponsible for the Legislature to "rubber stamp" large expense requests without really knowing what they're spending our money on.

If a department head is asking for funding for electronic signs, transit buses or building improvements/upgrades, the Legislature (and taxpayers) should at least have an idea of the specific products and services that amount is for....and ask questions about the justification. 

We just approved a $300k bond (to combine with $2.4 million in grants) for the "purchase of transit buses"at an estimated total cost of $2,730,000. There may be perfectly good reasons why this is a great investment. And if it's a good idea, then those who are asking for it should be eager to state the benefits. 

How many buses?  Electric or diesel? If electric, will we need another multi-million dollar expense for charging capability?  

Edited by MsKreed
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10 hours ago, Lawana Morse said:

n 2022 the Legislature did approve for the Granicus system to be used for the live streaming and web services - but not approved as a replacement for the legislative route slip system. Research was showing that there were too many issues and even though it had bought out Novus, it would not migrate the years of archives over. 

given that information, would it not be an overstep then, for the system to be used for anything but what was approved?( truly seeking education btw)

10 hours ago, Lawana Morse said:

The blow up of this issue came about due to the exec choosing the Peak system - which maybe in the buried fine print of approving Peak for the web services, had the route slip system included in contract - and telling the Granicus team to not speak talk to any member of the legislative body and to not give the clerks administrative access to the system. 

i guess IF it were in the fine print, the Then-Legislators should have been more attentive to what they were agreeing to and We were paying for, as to the second part, while not totally unbelievable, it would be SO interesting tp have proof come about.

10 hours ago, Lawana Morse said:

Now my personal opinion - I don't care what software is use as long as it does the job. My issue with this (along with others that I am jumping into the hot pan regarding and will be putting a target on my back of being one who does not comply so stay tuned! LOL) is that there has to be communication and collaboration and that is not happening

Quoted for truth. frankly it seems so simple to have a Law/motion made that the County( both exec/Legislative) are to use the same system throughout. certainly would improve communication while, at least in this instance, end ONE waste of taxpayer time and money.

Thanks so much for updating and participating here, it truly is appreciated

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8 hours ago, MsKreed said:

If a department head is asking for funding for electronic signs, transit buses or building improvements/upgrades, the Legislature (and taxpayers) should at least have an idea of the specific products and services that amount is for....and ask questions about the justification. 

We just approved a $300k bond (to combine with $2.4 million in grants) for the "purchase of transit buses"at an estimated total cost of $2,730,000. There may be perfectly good reasons why this is a great investment. And if it's a good idea, then those who are asking for it should be eager to state the benefits. 

How many buses?  Electric or diesel? If electric, will we need another multi-million dollar expense for charging capability?  

sadly, too many "Legislators" are just there to fill out their retirement bennies and health insurance; rubber stamping is the easiest way to not actually work. given the way people have voted last few elections, these very same Legislators know the bare minimum to keep constituents voting

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