Since December 2007, IT Director Bob Smith has been overseeing all computer-related projects, repairs, installations, and countless other activities in Starke County, and with about 120 county PCs to maintain, he has certainly had his hands full. And so, when Smith announced his resignation to the county commissioners, they were compelled to accept his resignation with a heavy heart. Smith’s last day as IT Director of Starke County will be July 29. Because of the vast number of responsibilities that comes with being a one-man department, Smith announced his resignation over a month in advance to not only finish out some of the current projects, but also to give the county time to find a replacement.
Smith, who has been working with the county as IT Director for the last three and a half years, originally took the position as a contract position part-time. After working from 8 a.m. to noon for over a year, he quickly realized that four hours a day wasn’t enough for the amount of work it took to maintain technology in the county and his position became full-time in 2009. In his time with the county, he has coordinated countless projects with the county, including greatly simplifying systems at the Sheriff’s Department, implemented database applications in various departments, upgrading the phone system at the Annex to a VoIP system, optimized the fiber optic connection between the Sheriff’s Department, Courthouse, Annex, and Fire Department, and countless others.
“The single greatest achievement I can think of while I’ve been here in Starke County has probably been the Sheriff’s Department software. Prior to the new software, the old software was kind of problematic and did not integrate well in between booking and dispatch,” said Smith. The new software uses a single database application that is entirely integrated between booking, dispatch, and the officers on the scene. It also ties the city police department together, and the police cruisers themselves are tied into the database.
After complimenting him on the tremendous job he has performed for the county, the Commissioners accepted Smith’s resignation with regret. Smith said he has decided to resign because of financial reasons, and mentioned that he plans to dive back into the world of retail and plans to work for a friend who offered him a job at a developing company. Jim Pemberton, a friend of Smith, has been job shadowing him and becoming familiar with some of the tasks Smith has been performing for the county, but there is no word yet on whether or not Pemberton plans to apply for the IT Director position which is currently being advertised.