By: 1812Blockhouse Staff
Mansfield City Council’s Finance Committee members asked themselves a question on Tuesday evening which government officials are asking all over Ohio these days.
How can a city best plan for the future in light of the unknown economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic?
In the case of Mansfield, that refers to the City’s needs for technology and hardware, items which often become obsolete within a few years leaving them vulnerable and without opportunities for support.
The proposed legislation under consideration by Council involves a proposed commercial loan agreement with Richland Bank for improvements totalling $295,575. These improvements would take place in multiple City departments.
James Weiner, the City’s IT Director, told Council members that technology hardware really needs to be replaced every five years, and some of the equipment currently has been in use for twice that length of time. Such age can bring with it not only the risk of losing support for systems, which is the case for those City computers still using Windows 7, but also risks for security breaches.
Among other items, the package would include 30 new laptops and 70 new desktop computers, as well switches, drives, and storage hardware.
According to Weiner, the new technology would enable the City to make long-term adjustments to working parameters, including having several people continue to perform work remotely. The upgrades would also place a monitor on the wall in Council Chambers and allow for the continued live streaming of Council meetings, even after in-person meetings resume.
Additional data necessary to form a completely informed opinion on the lease, including loan details and obtaining the end of May financial picture for the City, caused committee members to propose delaying a full Council vote on the measure until the July 21 Council meeting, a recommendation which was subsequently approved by full Council during Caucus.