You may recognize the city’s new interim IT Director. He was part of the news cycle late last year, as the city struggled to get a handle of some pretty big utility billing problems.
His name is Peter Collins, the $192,000 consultant the city brought in to solve the problems. Now, Collins is interim City Manager Keith Selman’s choice to stand in as the IT Director. 6 Investigates confirmed the position opened when former IT Director Belinda Mercado resigned in January.
His compensation is unchanged – he will be paid under his existing, council-approved, contract with the city.
The city called in Collins, a former City of Austin employee, to address failings within the city’s enterprise platform, “Infor,” the multi-million-dollar system that 6 Investigates highlighted last year as part of a larger look at the city’s utility billing system woes.
Collins’ work resolving those problems – and getting the utility billing system on more solid footing – is a key reason city leaders agreed to bring him on in an interim capacity.
A city official confirms that the power to make such a decision is within the city manager’s power and a city councilman familiar with Collins’ work says he’s comfortable with that decision.
“Peter (Collins) has done a very good job resolving the billing issue, which covered multiple platforms in it … I’ve been very impressed with (his) technical ability,” Councilman Greg Smith says.
No word, yet, on when the city will look to hire a permanent IT Director and if Collins will be a candidate.
Collins says “he’s just focused on the task at hand” and hasn’t really considered whether he would be interested in the permanent role.