Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Winds of Change

Here we go,'s time to hit the reset button.

Mayor Landrieu's transition team has just released a request for resumes for an interim CIO to serve the city of New Orleans. While the new mayor's transition efforts for the city's IT infrastructure haven't been front page news, I have heard they are working diligently behind the scenes to take the reigns (maybe I should say pick up the pieces) from Nagin's admin. and hit the ground running next month.

In accordance with that, the transition team released this request for an interim CIO:

(Interim) Chief Information Officer, City of New Orleans

If you've got the stuff, please step up to the plate and help the city get back online (figuratively and literally).

Exciting a part of it.


Anonymous said...

best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Good luck, wish this would have been posted earlier. Seems the transition team has someone in mind and this is just a formality.

Jason Brad Berry said...

- Seems the transition team has someone in mind and this is just a formality.

now why would you say that? there's absolutely nothing to base that snark on.

If you want the job, apply for it and quit whining.

Anonymous said...

The whole unclassified civil service staff (political appointments) has been waiting to find out if they got to keep their jobs, including Boyd. This news was given out on Thursday, so it's not a lot of time lag before publicly posting his job.

Also, this is a highly specialized set of problems that need tackling. Hiring somebody for this is not the same as say, a communications person. Lots of candidates are needed.

Beth said...

I hope they're planning one hell of a bakesale, 'cause C-Ray's done spent all the money.

But I like our chances. We're some scrappy folks.

NOLA Reboot!

Jason Brad Berry said...

The last time I checked interim doesn't mean permanent. If you consider the overwhelming amount of shit this administration is about to walk into I think they should be afforded some time to figure out just how bad things are going to be before they can make even basic decisions like salary levels. There's no way of telling just how bad it's going to until they can get in there and get a real audit. I'm guessing the IT department may not be the top priority and an interim CIO may be what's needed until they can get a handle on this thing.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I love that...Nola reboot.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking, "I love that, Nola Reboot."

God, I hope this works. I hope all the right people get fired and all the right people keep their jobs or get hired.

Beth said...

Feel free to make it a T-shirt!

I'm with you on the interim thing. Usually, there's a "first 100 days" kind of pressure. I would happy if we just keep the lights on for 100 days while some smart people figure out where we stand, and what we have to work with. Except for a police chief - that we need to move on, pdq.

Anonymous said...

Well FYI it's difficult to fire many city workers because they are civil servants protected from political firings when a new admin takes power like this. There are pros and cons to such a thing.

I have not heard of any smart hires yet. I have heard they will retain Harrison Boyd's top hire, PMO Russell Ardeneaux. Some would consider this an inverse of hiring smart people.

Anonymous said...

FYI. Russell Ardeneaux is a former MAS employee now classified civil servant so Landrieu is not retaining him. He comes with the farm . But most do agree this was not a smart hire by any stretch of the imagination.

RE: Interim Post...I would agree that it appears that the fix is already in on the hire but it's plausible that there is an open process for the job. Considering that under city charter, the MIS department is a division of the CAO. So that means the new CAO could direct the department in absence of a permanent or interim CIO. We have to hope this is the case. There is no way the Landrieu admin could have any credibility by leaving the department in the hands of Russell Ardeneaux.

I agree that there is not a lot of priority on IT. As the IG, Jim Letten and the State Auditors office will continue to point out issues of unethical, questionable and illegal activities that will guide future changes. In addition, I think the Landrieu administration will return the IT department to it's previous stature as a relatively low profile department whose priorities and budget is determined by the rank and file in Landrieu's Executive team. Remember, MIS is actually a division of the CAO Department. It was Meffert and Nagin that made it a Kingdom on it's own.

By returning the department to a subservient role, it will be responsive to the Executive Team as a whole and lack the independence to pursue high profile initiatives without executive buy-in. The CIO at an executive level will be mostly ceromonial and advisory. The CIO role will actually by more like the MIS Director position in that this individual will have to tackle problems and work primarily at the ground level. I think the hope is that this individual could serve as a leader and get Russell and other MIS leaders up to speed. Just me two cents.

Best of Luck!
At any rate, best of luck!

Anonymous said...

There are less than 250 unclassified positions at City Hall. The Law Department is approximately 70 of those. The only person from that department who won't be returning pending "evaluation" is the City Attorney. 42 positions in the Mayor's Office and most of those are gone. There are other handfuls scattered throughout City Hall, but those two are where the majority are found. Plus, you have some unclassifieds on leave from classified positions.

Anonymous said...

While it is true Ardeneaux comes with the farm, a civil servant is guaranteed their title and pay, not department. Thus he could be "re-prioritized". But I suppose one could make an argument that moving him away from the taint would only leave MIS further in the dark. Shrug.

Besides him, what other leadership exists in MIS? Lafrance heads the support people, but I'm uncertain if he ever became an official director. (MIS has/had two directory positions under the CIO)

Jason Brad Berry said...

I've heard nothing but positive things about LeFrance other than he was a blind foot soldier to Boyd's commands. In corporate structure I guess that's an asset not a weakness.

Anonymous said...

But the question remains: what other leadership exists at MIS? Who are the other managers? Are there any other managers?

Anonymous said...

Boyd, Watts, Ardeneaux