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County board talks employees needing government email addresses

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County board

The Butler County Board of Supervisors is pictured at its Jan. 5 meeting. During the board's Jan. 17 meeting, supervisors talked about requiring the remaining county employees currently using their personal email addresses for work to get government email addresses.

County employees currently using their personal email addresses for government purposes are set to receive a designated email for that use.

During the regular meeting of the Butler County Board of Supervisors held Jan. 17, Human Resources Director Heidi Loges said there are still some employees – five or fewer – still using their personal email addresses.

Loges added that she and Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Doehling had attended a cybersecurity seminar in Lincoln, where this matter had been mentioned.

“One of the things brought up at that meeting is if you have government business sent to your personal email or whatever, that becomes public knowledge. So when they go in and something goes south, they will go through and your whole entire email is open to the public,” Doehling said.

Doehling added the county’s IT provider, Applied Connective, is urging everyone to use a government email as well.

County Attorney Julie Reiter noted this issue has been brought before the board before. In a previous litigation matter with the landfill, she said, there had been a public records request involving electronic communication.

The county had been required to provide emails and texts, Reiter said, and she had received some text messages from a county employee about a vacation he was taking.

“They were personal in nature in the sense that there was a picture of him where he was sitting by the pool just with his grandchild or something. I didn't disclose that because it was not relevant,” Reiter said. “…You should have a .gov (email), it doesn’t need to be a motion; it should be a requirement that every work-related email should go to that.”

Reiter added she believed the supervisors needed to have a government email as well.

Board Chairman and District 7 Supervisor Anthony Whitmore asked that they circle back to the matter in a couple of weeks to see if those last few employees have received the new email addresses.

In other business, the board OK’d drilling test holes for a new communications tower. Doehling has been working towards establishing a new tower to help build up redundancies in the county’s emergency communication system.

The last location for the potential tower –  a half-mile north of the corner of 37 and N roads, north of David City – didn’t end up working out, Doehling said, as it was on a fence line and would have been more complicated to work out.

Now the new location will be some property located a mile north of the Bruno spur, Doehling added, and clearance has been granted from the state department of aeronautics. The test holes need to be drilled to ensure the ground can support the power.

“(Landowner) Matt (Hilger) said that he would be there personally that let them on to do that. I showed Scott the propagation maps on that tower and it pretty much covers the whole county,” Doehling said.

Doehling said he did not have a cost estimate until the project is put out for bids. When York County put up a new 911 tower, that had been $300,000, he added.

Additionally, supervisors approved allowing the Butler County Sheriff’s Office to sell four patrol cars and the detention center’s van at an auction.

The vehicles are a 2014 Dodge Charger, a 2016 Dodge Charger, a 2016 Dodge Charger, a 2015 Ford Taurus Interceptor and a 2008 Chrysler Town and Country.

“What we were going to do, the silver Ford Explorer that we have, just put over onto the detention center,” Sheriff Tom Dion said. “…These need to go, they have been replaced.”

District 1 Supervisor Scott Steager questioned if the county could sell the vehicles to other agencies and raised concerns about the safety of selling the vehicles to the public.

“I think once you sell it the liability is gone,” said District 5 Supervisor Jan Sypal.

Dion noted the vehicles have a pretty high mileage.

The Butler County Board of Supervisors also approved:

  • Adding the City of Milford to the Zuercher Technologies, a case management system, interlocal agreement.
  • Appointing Randy Isham as the highway superintendent for the calendar year 2023, as well as two utility permits.
  • Tabling a road maintenance agreement between Butler County and the City of David City, as Reiter felt the current draft was too vague.

Hannah Schrodt can be reached at hannah.schrodt@lee.net.

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