12/26/17 – The Dodge County Sheriff says it is concerning that his department’s computer system is not being backed-up. Officials in Dodge County were surprised to recently discover that the computer server that backs up the computer of every department in the county has not been in operation for the past several months or more. To address the issue, the county board last week approved the hiring of Sirius Computer Solutions, and the purchase of related equipment, at a cost of $427-thousand dollars. The county’s main computer servers are housed at the courthouse in Juneau and were supposed to be backed up at the county-owned Clearview Nursing Home but that never happened. County Administrator Jim Mielke told us last week that decisions were made without his knowledge or approval by the county board or Information Technology Committee. The IT Director left her position in late October; the issue was not discovered until after her departure.
Sheriff Dale Schmidt told us on WBEV’s Community Comment that the lack of redundancy in the system is a huge problem. He says a tornado, electrical fire or flooding are all possible scenarios that could take down the main system leaving the county without a net for emergency calls and the new Spillman countywide records management system. The sheriff says his office has statutory obligations and if the system is down for an extended amount of time, the county will be on the hook for not being able to meet those obligations. The county has what they call a Continuity of Operations site at the Mayville Highway Shop. Should there be a catastrophic event in Juneau, the satellite operation in Mayville houses administrative offices for all departments and has its own stand-alone computer network. He says all county information was supposed to be accessible in Mayville but the link that department heads were told was in place is not. Schmidt says this is a “major issue” and he is thankful the county board took quick action. The tentative date to have the backup system up and running is March of 2018.