Franklin County is bringing back its information technology director position.
Charles “Chuck” Henderson has taken on the position that was outsourced in 2017. Henderson previously was information technology director and chief information officer for St. Louis County and served as chairman of the REJIS Commission, a board that supervises a regional criminal justice processing system.
“He will be the director of all things IT here in Franklin County, relative to the needs and oversight and contractual negotiations with providers,” Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker said at the Tuesday, Oct. 3, commission meeting. “This is a great asset and addition to our staff here, and it will surely serve in the best capacity the needs of IT here in freedom loving Franklin.”
Second District Commissioner Dave Hinson added that Henderson is a long-time resident of Franklin County.
Henderson will be paid $100,000 annually, Brinker said.
Larry Sikes was the county’s last in-house information technology director. He moved over to work for AQM Computer Help when that company took over IT duties for the county in 2017, after AQM previously worked with the county on a more limited basis.
But after Sikes announced his retirement in summer 2022, the county switched to NOC Technology. The transition has been rocky at times, with computer issues being blamed for the deadline for property tax bill payments being pushed back into January 2023 from Dec. 31, 2022.
Henderson will work with NOC in his new position, Brinker said after the meeting.
“He’ll work not only with them but going out to bid on other IT hardware and services,” he said.
Henderson was appointed by St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page as director of information technology in August 2020, after previously serving in the position in an interim capacity, according to West Newsmagazine. Before joining St. Louis County, Henderson was senior manager for network, telecommunications and security for Edgewell Personal Care and manager of desktop systems for Energizer Holdings.
Also at the meeting, commissioners voted to award road salt contracts to three different companies for the upcoming winter.
The county will pay Oakley Fertilizer Inc. $80.42 per ton of salt delivered to the county, Compass Minerals America Inc. $88.21 per ton and NSG Logistics LLC $93.50 per ton, according to the documents in the commission’s agenda packet.
The county has good reason to go with two companies in addition to the low bidder, county Highway Administrator Jim Grutsch told commissioners.
“There are times in the winter when the Mississippi River is too low to receive deliveries,” he said. “So there are times when one supplier will be out, and we’ll have to go to the next one to receive the materials we need to maintain the roads.”
The “potential redundancy” is there to protect the county, Brinker added.
“Hopefully, we won’t need a lot,” he said.
Commissioners also approved the use of county roads on Saturday, Oct. 7, for the St. Clair Elks Side-by-Side Poker Run, which supports the Franklin County Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.
Registration for the event is from 9 to 10 a.m. Utility vehicles, motorcycles and jeeps will head out from the Elks Lodge at 35 E. North St. in St. Clair by turning on North Street, then right on Main Street, traveling around the area and making several stops before returning to the Elks Lodge.