August 2018 Newsletter
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In This Issue

President’s Message Regional Event Membership Renewals
RMG Updates Member Spotlight Data Dive
Director Listserv Update Mobile Device Security
TML Update
President’s Message – Sid Hudson
Hello to all TAGITMers. This month I would like to talk about our Strategic Planning process and the commitment of the board on reviewing and expanding the plan. On June 11th – 12th, the board met in Waco for two days to review and make sure our Strategic Plan is still on target. As President, I would like to express, my sincere appreciation to each board member for his or her dedication and effort to make certain TAGITM continues on the right path. I realize it isn’t easy to take two days away from your city or county and your busy schedule to focus on this important process.

Highlights for upcoming expectations in the next couple of years include, expanding the educational opportunities with two Full Day Regional Events this year and three Full Day Regional Events by 2020 with a goal of 70 attendees at each. In addition, we are striving for a Regional meeting in Arkansas to explore the opportunities in that state with a previous member of TAGITM.

We continue to provide access to the GMIS Data Dive. This organization is working to refine the data entry needed to get to the data we want to see. The information for the improved data input model should be coming to us in the fall of this year.

The organization continues to work with a marketing firm and is executing a plan in an effort to increase membership and achieve our membership goals. The membership goal for the year 2020 is 270 total member agencies.

Additionally, the board continues to look at an opportunity to offer a National / Internal Accreditation to the membership. Hold tight while we work hard to find these opportunities. I hope you are as excited as I am in anticipation of things to come!

I hope this has given each of you a glimpse of the types of things that are behind the scenes to keep this organization healthy and strong.

Sid Hudson
Chief Information Officer
City of McKinney
President, 2018
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Regional Event
Regional Event - logo

The TAGITM Board would like to invite you to join us at The Government Regional Summit to be held Tuesday, October 9, 2018 – North Central Texas Council of Government.

This regional summit will focus on the different elements of strategizing the future of IT, growing your department and preparing for the changes ahead. Hear from your fellow TAGITM members and our industry partners as they discuss their personal experiences and success from their agencies and organizations.

Learn More
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Membership Renewals

Don't let your TAGITM membership lapse! The TAGITM Membership year is October 1 through September 30. If your dues are not renewed by December 31, 2018, your membership will expire. Renew your membership today to maintain access to:

  • TAGITM Member Resources, our document repository available through the web site
  • TAGITM Member Listserv to collaborate and discuss today's hottest trends and issues
  • TAGITM Director Listserv for those at the Executive Management Level
  • Regional Member Groups and networking opportunities
  • Continued learning at discounted rates through webinars, regional events and conference presentations

In order to renew your membership you will need the User Name and Password for the Agency/Organization Member profile. If you do not have this login information, you may contact for assistance. Once you have logged into the Agency/Organization Member profile, click on the "Manage Profile" link in the right-hand navigation, and then scroll down to the bottom of the window and under Account History click on "Membership". You'll see your current expiration date and a link to the current invoice for the 2019 membership year. You may renew your dues online if you are paying by Credit Card or print the current invoice if you are paying by Purchase Order/Invoice.

Please note that the membership voted to increase all membership dues by $25 at the 2018 Annual Business Meeting. The purpose of this increase is to cover increasing costs and expanded programs, such as additional education offerings and access to GMIS Data Dive for members. Agency dues are $175 per year and affiliate dues are now $200 per year. The last dues increase was in 2014 and was dedicated to a membership reserve / rainy day fund.

Thank you,
Kevin Cameron
Membership Chair, 2018

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RMG Updates
One of the areas of focus for this year is strengthening our Regional Membership Groups (RMGs). While we hope increased membership is a by-product, we want you to know we are not only focusing on membership, but also utilizing the RMGs as another avenue to deliver our members timely and relevant content. We know now everyone can't make the Annual Conference, so we want to bring content closer to you during other times of the year. Please look for announcements about RGM activity in your area and sign-up for the educational and other opportunities. We believe stronger RGMs will lead to a stronger state wide organization.

Kevin Cameron
Membership Chair, 2018
Find My RMG
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Member Spotlight
City of Murphy - logo Organization Name:
City of Murphy Information Technology Department
We are just east of Plano, suburb on the north side of Dallas.
Population: 21000

Number of IT Workers in the Organization: 5 of us

Significant Technology Achievements:
Laserfiche: Implemented Paper-lite document management and workflow in HR, Finance, Court, City Secretary and Police Departments ( 3 year project from FY18 – FY18)
Cartegraph: Implemented Asset Management and Work order management for Parks, Facilities and Public Works (3 year project from FY16 – FY18)
Agenda Management: implemented iCompass for Meeting Management, Agenda Management, Minutes, Contracts, and Board/Commission Management (started inFY17, completed in FY18)
Datacenter: We went hyperconverged on Nutanix, and virtualized everything but 3 servers that couldn’t. (started inFY17, completed in FY18)

Plans for Future Technology Initiatives:
We have 5 big projects starting in FY19
  1. Network refresh – replacing all switches and access points in our city.
  2. Building Security Refresh – replacing Door controllers and video surveillance for the whole city, and adding it to all utility sites.
  3. Audio Visual enhancements in our major meeting rooms and public spaces.
  4. Incode 10 Migration
  5. Avaya phone system upgrade from a single v9physical appliance, to redundant virtual V11.1 appliances

Most Challenging Project:
This is a toss up between 2 for us.
  • Installing the new Bump out system and Radio recording system for Fire (and Police). We had 3 different vendors, plus other cities and the COG all involved. Not a quick or easy process with so many hands and moving pieces.
  • Adding all construction As-builts into our GIS layers. This is a completely manual, arduous and time-consuming process. Mostly this is scanning in prints and converting them into usable GIS info. But first we have to find the prints in a scannable format. We just recently completed 1 quadrant of the city…plenty more to go.
Most Rewarding Project:
Again, struggling between 2:
  • Changing out all vehicular hotspots to Cradlepoints. The previous ones were great unless it was summer… The cradlepoints are easy to deploy and manage, perform better, and provide a more consistent experience for our police and fire users. It’s night and day difference for them.
  • The Agenda management project: This application touches all departments, elected officials and the public, and all groups are very complimentary of it. Not every day do we get to say that!
What is Most Valuable About Being a TAGITM Member:
We love being part of an organization that is completely focused on technology issues we specifically face as government IT. The best part is all of you, the other organizations that we get to share this journey with. All the valid input, ideas, willingness to help each other, creative solutions, occasional jokes and wisecracks, and knowing we are not alone in caring for our communities.
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DATA Dive Update
Data Dive - logo
During the business meeting at the TAGITM Conference in San Antonio, the Board requested and received member feedback regarding the GMIS Data Dive platform. There was discussion regarding the type of data that was most valuable to our members, as well as the amount of data required to gain access for comparison and reporting purposes. It was suggested that it would be more beneficial if the data be broken down further to allow access to subsets of information. The Board took our membership’s comments and concerns back to the GMIS Data Dive Committee. They reported receiving similar feedback from their membership. As a result, GMIS took the Data Dive Benchmarking platform offline on July 5th in order to implement changes. When the platform is brought back online in late August, the dashboard will be broken into smaller sections including a high level section for demographics, budget, planning and organizational information. To run reports, you will only have to enter 70% of your data in the section for which you want to report. Once the Data Dive is back online, please take the opportunity to check out the new platform. If you have forgotten your user name or password, enter your email in the online password reset tool. It will allow you to reset your password and once reset, your user name will be displayed as well. If you still require assistance logging in once the Data Dive is back online, please email Look for an email from TAGITM when the new version of GMIS Data Dive back online and available later this month.

Beth Ann Unger
TML Representative, 2018
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Director Listserv Update
Several very active and contributing members recently approached the Board of Directors with a proposition regarding Membership to the Directors Listserv. Membership to this Listserv had been limited to the highest ranking position in an IT organization. The point was made that some organization CIO/Directors are not as active in TAGITM as their Assistant Director may be. We were losing valuable input and knowledge on the Directors Listserv with this limitation. The Board has made the decision to allow Assistant Directors/Assistant CIOs and similar positions membership on the Directors ListServ.

In order to be approved, the highest member of your organization (CIO/Director/etc.) should fill out the application and include an org chart. The org chart will be reviewed and a decision to approve membership based on the intent of this change. It's hard to give a specific rule here, because so many different organizations have different titles, different roles, structures, etc. The intent of the Directors Listserv is to have more strategic/planning discussions. We don't have deep technical discussions on this ListServ (Yes, go ahead and make jokes about how we have all lost some of our technical edge by being in management.). If you find yourself in the same situation as the two members who brought this issue forward, please work with your management team to get a request submitted so you can be involved at the level you should be.

Tony Gonzalez
Communications Chair, 2018
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Mobile Device Security
What a pain! We all feel it everyday, don't we? While it's a pain, it's something that must be addressed on a daily basis. Our President, Sid Hudson, shared with us a message he sent to all employees in McKinney. It's short, but a well written piece about how users can help us protect city data on their mobile devices. Feel free to use/share within your organization. Sid has promised not to bring anyone up on plagiarism charges.

Mobile devices have become an indispensable part of life. We use them to communicate with friends, bank and shop online, play games, watch TV shows and movies, track fitness goals, and many other things. Here are a few recommendations to keep you and your devises safe and secure.

Screen Locks
Your information is valuable to hackers, but your phone is unlikely to be a major target. It’s more a target of opportunity, and most comprises involving phones don’t involve any fancy tools or elite skills, but are the result of someone just picking up a lost or stolen phone. Which is why it’s recommended that you set a lock screen with a pin or fingerprint lock. This helps ensure that no one can access your device if it’s lost or stolen.

On your personal device, enable automatic updating so that they are always running the latest version of the operating system and applications. Security is largely a race between attackers and software manufacturers. Hackers find new vulnerabilities then post them online the software manufacturers respond with patches to close those vulnerabilities. Keeping your device updated keeps you protected.

If you have the option, install or enable software to remotely track your device over the internet. This will allow you to find it if it is lost or stolen, or in a worst-case scenario, remotely wipe all your information.

Sid Hudson
President, 2018

Introduction by Tony Gonzalez
Communications Chair, 2018
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TML Update
There has been quite a bit of activity with Texas Municipal League (TML) leading up to the 86th regular legislative session, which begins on January 8, 2019. In May, TML requested that we represent them and provide testimony at the House Select Committee for Cybersecurity May 16th at the University of Texas San Antonio. Sid Hudson represented TML and TAGITM, using the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges that Local governments face related to cybersecurity including increasing threats and limited resources, both staff and funding. Sid shared the grant funds are allocated to Police and Fire for public safety, but that little is available to fund Information Technology efforts that also provide for public safety. As a follow up, Representative Giovanni Capriglione, House Select Committee Cybersecurity Chair, contacted TML in July and requested a call to learn more and get feedback on some potential initiatives. During that call, Beth Ann Unger provided additional information about how agencies share and procure technology related to cybersecurity and disaster recovery. Rep. Capriglione committed to getting back with us and vetting any related legislation before he proposes it.

In other efforts, TAGITM is sponsoring a Smart Cities session at the TML conference in Fort Worth, Wednesday, October 10th at 2:00 p.m. presented by the City of San Antonio’s Chief Innovation Officer, Jose De La Cruz. If you are attending the TML conference, please mark that session on your agenda.

Beth Ann Unger
TML Representative, 2018
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