Opinion - Saratoga Springs Politics

The below blog posts are written by John Kaufmann.
These opinions do not reflect the views of Saratoga TODAY newspaper.

Tuesday, 21 May 2024 14:57

Commissioner Sanghvi: More Problems In IT

By John Kaufmann | Saratoga Springs Politics

Never shy, former Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim issued a press release on October 18, 2023, touting a new software package to archive text messages from city phones. On February 22, 2024, Finance Commissioner Minita Sanghvi went to the media (WRGB) to tout the program's implementation to capture texts from city officials' phones. As of today, May 20, 2024, Commissioner Sangvi, the project manager, still has not deployed this software, wasting over $6,000 of the public's money.

Readers will remember that Sanghvi has repeatedly alleged(as she suggests again in this news clip) that past elected officials had somehow tampered with their phones in response to the Attorney General's investigation regarding the Saratoga Springs Police Department even though there has never been any evidence of this happening. Former Mayor Kim, Sanghvi, and Accounts Commissioner Dillon Moran frequently maintained there was an urgent need to archive text messages sent by city officials.

The contract with the winning proposal from SMARSH was signed on October 17, 2023, for $12,942.12. According to the contract, it would take effect the day it was approved. For some reason, Sanghvi waited until February to get approval for the archiving policies, and even then, the software was not deployed.

As of today, the archive software has not yet been implemented. By my calculations, Sanghvi has been unable to implement the software for seven months. It has been three months since she told WRGB it had been implemented.

It is true that the head of IT who Sanghvi hired quit months ago during this period . The Police Department's IT specialist has been filling in as Sanghvi still has not hired a replacement. All reports attest to his skills, but the IT department needs a full-time head. This disruption in leadership of the department should have made little difference, however. The SMARSH software is web-based. After a few configuration entries, the software simply requires the telephone numbers to be tracked. SMARSH has an agreement with Verizon to capture all incoming and outgoing texts in real-time. All this should have been done months ago.

I leave it to the reader to consider why Sanghvi told WRGB that she had implemented this software when she spoke to them in February and why it has taken so long and still not been implemented. It is also unclear why she has been unable to fill the IT director position.

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