The Lodi City Council on Wednesday night approved a financial systems replacement, at a cost of $3.3 million.
As $3 million expenditures go, it’s boring stuff. The city simply needed new computer hardware, software, memory capacity etc. for its financial record keeping, billing processes and other accounting stuff.
Where the vote became more compelling, however, is the debate over whether to spend $3.3 million over seven years to have city staff run the Financial Systems or to hire a vendor that uses web-based servers and would perform the bulk of the work done by city staffers.
The vendor option is less expensive – $2.6 million over seven years in this case.
Council members voted unanimously to spend the extra $570,000 to keep city staff running the system. They liked the option of having city employees at the ready, and there seemed to be some concern about the web-based format.
The City Council has asked the City Manager and his staff to bring them options like this, though. It started with staffing for the new water treatment plant. The city could have saved $1 million to hire a private firm operate the plant. The City Council chose to keep city staff on that job as well.
So, as per the council’s request, cheaper options are being presented. As of now, those options are being passed on.