Island Lake still without tech vendor
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As Island Lake Mayor Charles Amrich's administration finishes its second week, village hall continues to be without a computer consultant.
With no one overseeing the town's information-technology system, some computer and paperwork problems arose in the days after Amrich took over as mayor, particularly at the police department, officials said. Those problems have been resolved.
The previous vendor, Kodiak Technology Group was fired. Its owner, Daniel Field, supported ex-Mayor Debbie Herrmann and twice tried to get Amrich knocked off the April ballot.
Field also created a political website during the campaign that attacked Amrich and several of his allies and supporters.
Amrich stayed on the ballot and won overwhelmingly.
At the May 16 village board meeting, the owner of a Lake in the Hills company called BTC Bonifer Technology Consulting Group made a sales pitch for the job. Adam Bonifer had served in the same capacity under former Mayor Thomas Hyde in the 2000s.
But the village board didn't hire the company Thursday. Bonifer wanted a two-year contract, and officials balked.
Trustees also said they want to consider more vendors before making a decision.
"I think it's important for us to hear multiple proposals in an effort to get the best service and the best pricing," Trustee Shannon Fox said Monday. "If we don't have multiple bids, we're not in a position to negotiate the price with any one company."
Computer services do not require competitive bidding under Illinois law because of the specialized nature of the work. However, agencies are allowed to seek multiple proposals.
One other company, Ryden Solutions of Volo, has submitted a proposal so far.
To deal with the issue, Amrich created a committee to oversee information-technology services. Trustees Mark Beeson, Keith Johns and Tony Sciarrone — all Amrich running mates — were assigned to the group.
Amrich initially wanted Beeson, Johns and Trustee Chuck Cermak to make up the committee, but Cermak admitted he's not much of a computer expert and suggested trustees Thea Morris or Shannon Fox should serve in his place. Both are tech savvy, but they also served on electoral boards that ruled against Amrich's candidacy earlier this year.
Amrich went with Sciarrone instead.
"Tony has a grip on computers and what needs to be done, what we need to have," Amrich told the Daily Herald.
Amrich initially said he didn't recall Cermak recommending Morris or Fox but eventually said it may have happened.
On Monday, Cermak said he was "a little surprised" Amrich chose Sciarrone over Morris or Fox.
The committee will have its first meeting at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Amrich said he expects the issue will come up for discussion when the board meets this Thursday.
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