The Mayor and Council have stated that the EnerGov and permitting problems are an existential threat to the city. Do the Mayor and the Council have the experience to guide the City Manager through this problem? I have stated throughout my campaign that they do not. Current leadership has failed to deal with a complex system hardware and software integration problem. The information below is to summarize the issues for residents and offer some quick solutions.
It is nice to see that the Mayor and Council are finally taking action on the problem of permitting, which has plagued the city since the rollout of the EnerGov application six months ago.
Here are some facts that I took away from the Council’s discussion on Wednesday, July 20th:
- The city spent 3 years preparing for the transition
- 55% of permits were manually done before EnerGov
- Now contractors must input everything electronically versus city employees
- Cape Coral currently employees 65 people in Permitting
- We also have 28 people in IT
- Tyler Technologies is the provider of the EnerGov software
- It is the #1 provider of this type of application in the country
- Although they are #1, we can’t find anyone in the country that has IT expertise with EnerGov experience to hire.
- All prior permitting data from Etrakit was imported in the new system. Could corrupted data from the transfer be partly to blame?
- The consultant we hired has recommended we send people to Des Moines to learn the things they went through when they introduced EnerGov.
- Council’s Solution – Hire more people.
- Council directs the City Manager to start the process to hire more permanent people. (Hiring more people will take 4-6 months)
- · This will take 6 months or more to solve, such as moving to the next version of EnerGov, which will take another learning curve
As a resident and even candidate, I don’t have access to all information, but after listening for more than two hours, here is how Mayor Shadrach would begin to immediately fix the issues with EnerGov.
- Overtime or contractor hirings for 8–12 hours for Permitting and IT staff. That will produce 23 equivalent heads of additional work.
- I understand that Permitting personnel have taken other positions in the city due to the stress of the job.
- Pull them back or incentivize overtime when needed.
- If employees leave, see if they will come back as contractors on an as-needed basis.
- Back-out the Etrakit (old system) data and finish them manually if not complete by now.
- Resume limited manual permitting until the IT problems are resolved.
- Tom’s Questions:
- Why can’t our consultant tell us the fixes that Des Moines went through if they recommend we go there?
- Do we have the right consultant? Generally, a consultant will just tell you to hire more people if they have little experience with hands-on solutions.
- What are we paying the consultant Plante Moran?
- Another Question:
- Where is Tyler Technologies in helping with the problems we have?
- Hiring more permanent people is not the answer. A new system promised to do more with less physical bodies. EnerGov puts most of the burden on the Contractor to enter the data online.
- Hire contractors for the hump that is needed to get through the problems.
I hope this helps to simplify this complicated issue. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com with any further questions.
God Bless Cape Coral and God Bless America,