IT contractor, county come to terms on software

Published 6:22 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Department will soon see some of its software issues completed.

At Monday night’s commission meeting, members heard from Stewart Thomas, with whom the county had contracted with to design and install software on four of the department’s computers in September.

Last May, Johnny Brunson asked the commission for $3,000 per month in licensing on software he had designed and installed on the computers at the Sheriff’s Office.

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Then, Brunson said that since he held the license to the software, he had the right to remove it if the Commission decided not to enter into a contract.

Brunson removed his software on June 17, 2012.

Luverne Journal archives show that Thomas was to write a web application program and use MySQL, a free, open-source database program that is on par with Microsoft’s SQL server to store data. Additionally, the county would purchase a Dell server for $2,200. Thomas would act as the system administrator and conduct weekly backup and offer 12 hours of service per month. The county was to pay Thomas $1,080 for the first month, $760 for the second month and $600 per month as he finished the software.

Thomas told the commission then it would he would “roll it out over three months. We’ll get the first forms that you need that you say are the highest priority, and then continue to roll out the next-highest priority items.”

Monday night, Thomas said the job was “pretty complex” and said that he had worked to help sheriff’s office employees with things such as burning CDs, working on the network and other things, which he said was time consuming.

Additionally, there was a mix-up in a canteen system through Petrey Wholesale and feed bill software for inmates. The systems are two different programs, but Thomas said he thought they were “one in the same.”

Commissioner Michelle Stephens asked Thomas to give a timeframe as to how long it would take him to do that.

“Stewart, with all due respect, you have had a year,” she said. “Can you do this in a timely fashion, and do you want to?”

“No,” Thomas said. “I want to, but I can’t in the time the sheriff expects.”

Stephens asked Thomas to finish what he started and the commission would move on.

“We’ll pay you,” she said.

In other business, the commission:

• Heard from resident Ken McGough, who expressed his concerns over the number of signs that are stolen out in the county and that 911 and rescue personnel depend on those signs. He was concerned that tragedy would one day happen when a residence cannot be located or the rescue personnel are detained trying to find their destination without the signage.