The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees on Monday, Nov. 14 approved a moratorium on any future purchases or upgrades to the township’s computer software pending a full evaluation of the Information Technology (IT) Department following recent computer server issues.
The township’s e-mail system crashed on Sept. 29 and after being requested by the board last month, Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste presented a summary report put together by township IT Director Mark Osinski, as well as Waterford Township IT Director Jared Black.
Ureste said a virtual network was installed in the township’s server when the previous township board was in power, but that the technology has since become obsolete.
“I purchased this system because HP (Hewlett-Packard) guaranteed me a consolidated software/hardware product,” Osinski said. “If I had an issue, I would have one phone call to make.
“On Sept. 29, it took HP about 37 hours to bring us back from hardware failure to fully operational,” he said. “On Oct. 26, it took HP over 33 hours to be in our system to bring it back to fully operational.”
Osinski said he was the one who suggested the purchase of this virtual system, but admitted that neither he nor his staff had any experience with virtualization beforehand.
“We’re in a spot where we don’t know who to call to get support because my staff does not have the technology knowledge to handle virtualization in-house,” Osinski said.
Ureste said the township was made aware of one of the server’s controllers failing four months before the Sept. 29 crash, but that HP didn’t allow it to purchase Navigate software to determine if there was a malfunction with the hardware or components.
Township Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy said she was extremely nervous about recent technology purchases the township has made and that an evaluation of the township’s IT Department is needed.
“What I got from this (report) is I still don’t know what’s going on in the IT Department,” she said. “There are just so many issues and I’m becoming increasingly more and more perplexed with what we’re doing.”
Trustee Howard Rosenberg then made the motion for the moratorium.