Commissioners Spending $25,000 To Filter Websites At The Courthouse

firewall

The County Commissioners have bought a $25,000 piece of network hardware to block certain websites from courthouse computers.

According to County Financial Administrator Vince LaValle, the “Barracuda” web filter will allow for greater control over employees’ internet usage. “It will allow us to block some websites from employees, such as pornography sites,” said LaValle. The county’s current network already allows supervisors to review the websites their employees are visiting, or block specific employees from the internet entirely.

All three Commissioners agreed earlier this week to buy the device.

The purchase comes just two weeks after Commissioners fired Frank Signore, the county’s long-time head of information technology. Commissioners said at the time that Signore’s termination was part of a cost savings measure necessitated by the county’s current financial crisis, but then approved the hiring of three new deputies in the Sheriff’s Office just days later.

None of the county officials the Beaver Countian spoke to were aware of any instances involving an employee surfing pornographic websites from the courthouse. There has been no word on what other websites the Commissioners may seek to block using the $25,000 device.

The Commissioners previously spent $86,000 on a biometric time clock system which would allow them to keep a close watch on the comings and goings of employees. The system has still not been implemented, and is now months behind its originally announced deployment date. Several elected row officers claim that system is also unnecessary, and say they may move to block its implementation in their offices.

The “Barracuda” is scheduled to arrive at the courthouse sometime next week.

11 comments

  • the commissioners offices are already filled with jackasses might as well throw a barracuda in too! we can rename the courthouse to the beaver county international zoo and sell tickets to pay for all the shit theyre buying :sheep: :turtle: :mouse: :moo: :monkey: :chicken: :cat: :cat2:

  • I use net nanny software at home to protect my family and home PC, Internet Filters block much more than just porn sites. Why should county employees have full access to roam the Internet? They are getting paid to work, not look at Facebook and shop online. As far as time clocks, employees currently don’t have to punch….are you serious! Employees should punch, boohoo, welcome to the real world where you get paid 8 hrs, but have to actually work 8 hours! Of course Elected officals will fight it, who wants to actually be accountable. Welcome the the real world BC employees, maybe you should picket this too and see what sympathy you get from the real world…NONE!

  • I am not saying that it absolutely is, but this may be an okay purchase. Hypothetically, if Signore was the information technology guy, he was probably in charge of monitoring and regulating the internet traffic. A Signore was costing something like $94,000 every year, while the Barracuda device will cost $25,000 one time. Internet traffic should be restricted for county employees. Aside from the porn, I really don’t see why county employees need to be on a number of other sites. For example, do we need to pay county employees to be updating their Facebook status, or watching YouTube videos? Does the average clerical worker (who does not make authorized purchases for the county) need to access online shopping?

    As far as the $75,000 time clock, that does seem a bit excessive. On the other hand, with the number of corrupt folks “working” at the courthouse it may be a good way to keep everybody honest. That is if it is implemented. Was this perhaps a project that the former IT guy failed to complete? Perhaps part of the reason it was determined to be unnecessary? I’d be pretty damn disappointed if a guy I bought a $75,000 piece of technology and the IT guy I paid $90 something thousand per year failed to implement it. Oh, wait. I did. Along with all the other taxpayers. Maybe there are other factors that come into play with this that were beyond Signore’s control, but I’m just throwing out some possibilities.

    Anybody who has read my previous comments on this site knows that I am no fan of the commissioners, nor their spending practices. However, I don’t want to be too quick to damn them on every move on the outside chance that every once in a while they may actually be doing something responsible.

  • Note to LaValle: you already have the ability to review what websites are surfed by county employees. Send out a memo of prohibition to the sites or content you prohibit, random check computer surfing, discipline the cheaters and save $25k. No charge for the advice.

  • author

    Story updated to reflect the current cost of the time system, which is $86,000, not the original $75,000 that was estimated for the system and reported in this article.

  • BeaverMe –
    Last time I checked, the choice to use a time clock or permit internet useage and the sites thereon, was a MANAGEMENT decision. Most of the BC EMPLOYEES are only trying to make a living and survive, just like you. So, why do you have such a hard-on for the employees?

    Mikulin –
    Great idea about accountability. My former employer (I’m retired) put out a memo NOTIFYING AND WARNING every employee that ANY internet usage NOT related to a specific job title would result in IMMEDIATE TERMINATION of employment. Yep, that’s all the County needs to do and keep the 25K. (Maybe someone should check if there is a connection/relationship between the Commissioners or Purchasing Agent and the Vendor?

  • Medinfo2000, maybe you should reread my post, I am not siding with the employees. I think the management should use the filter and Timeclocks to make the employees more accountable. Maybe understand what I am saying before attacks my post.

    • BeaverMe – Written words don’t always convey true intentions. Sometimes,you have to read
      “between the lines” to decipher a writer’s actual meaning. So, I reread your first post and
      the second as well. The article above concerns money spent by the Commissioners, nothing else.

      EMPLOYEEs have no say in purchasing and were barely mentioned, but you DID say “Welcome
      (to?) the the real world BC employees, maybe you should picket this too and see what sympathy you get from the real world…NONE”. Your second post continues “I am not siding with the employees”. (and when did I ask “which side are you on?”)

      You conclude by saying “Maybe understand what I am saying before attacks my post.”
      First, I am NOT “attacking” you. Secondly, then what ARE you saying? and thirdly,
      why DO you have such a hard-on for the EMPLOYEEs?

  • Medinfo2000, the purchasing director was one of the people terminated a couple weeks ago. Coincidence? The commissioners office, through Vince LaValle, is now doing anything and everything they want, with no checks and balances. It’s gonna get worse folks. Just wait and see. :sad2:

  • Sounds like beaverme had a problem with the Courthouse Employees. you are right medinfo2000 whats the matter beaverme someone piss in your wheaties.