Wednesday, May 25, 2016

TOP STORY >> Jacksonville to upgrade server

Leader staff writer

With a government email system teetering on the brink of failure, Jacksonville City Council members added an emergency clause to and unanimously approved replacing an aging server during its regular meeting Thursday.

The clause allows for waiving of the competitive bid process and for the purchase of computer engineering, equipment, hardware, licensing, software, installation and warranties, and training and access for department personnel.

It also authorizes Mayor Gary Fletcher to enter into a contract with ClearPointe at a cost of $88,091.

The city’s information technology director Scott Rothlisberger told the aldermen that the current server, which is about eight years old and handles as many 10,000 emails a day, had possibly 60 to 90 days before it failed.

“It’s the most important server the city has…If we lost the server right now, we would be in trouble,” Rothlisberger said before the vote.

That means the city’s 300-plus email mailboxes could possibly shutdown and information be irretrievably lost.

After the meeting, Rothlisberger said the new system would be installed within the next 30 days, and it would save the city about $200 a month.

Mayor Fletcher tabled a request to set a public hearing regarding the street name change of Commerce Drive to SIG Sauer. It will be moved to the city council’s next meeting.

Alderman James Bolden III was absent from the meeting.

Because of Memorial Day, Fletcher said scheduled trash pick up service will be delayed by a day. For example, Tuesday’s service will happen on Wednesday. City offices will also be closed.

After screening a short Jacksonville Fire Department recruitment film, “Fire and Rescue, Jacksonville, Arkansas,” the entire room broke into applause.

The six-minute video was produced by Mark Evans of Mark Evans Films of Jacksonville for the Fire Department at no charge.

Evans is a Jacksonville Civil Service commissioner and also produced the city film, “Soaring Higher, Through the Eyes of Mayor Gary Fletcher.”

Fire Chief Alan Laughy said, “I knew it was going to be good because he did such a good job on Mayor Fletcher’s video, but it was better than I could have imagined. I think it will help with recruitment.”

He said his department isn’t short on personnel, but he is planning ahead for the need of possible replacements.

Fletcher said the city is blessed to have someone who is able to produce a film of such high quality.

There are plans for Evans to produce more videos for the city in the future, and “Fire and Rescue” is available online for viewing at:

In other business, the city council unanimously approved the minutes from the April 21 meeting, as well as this month’s consent agenda, which included monthly reports from Animal Control and the fire, police and engineering departments.

Members unanimously approved the reappointment of Art Brannen to the Board of Adjustment, with the term set to expire Feb. 5, 2019, and the reappointment of Lauren Fowler to the Civil Service Commission, with the term set to expire April 1, 2022.

Before adjournment, Alderman Kenny Elliot reminded his fellow council members of the Boys and Girls Club of Jacksonville’s annual Sports Banquet and Fundraiser that will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Jacksonville Community Center at 5 Municipal Drive.

Tickets are $50 and Elliot said anyone who wanted to buy a ticket, could call him at 501- 982-5887.