I had another very productive day at the Courthouse in my on-going effort to learn more about the business of Cook County.
Planning & Zoning
Tim Nelson, Director of Planning & Zoning, and I spent the better part of the morning discussing the work of the Office of Planning & Zoning (OPZ) Department. The OPZ is responsible for land use ordinances, subdivision approvals, platting, conditional use permits and variances, building permits, septic and well inspections, solid waste management, recycling and more. Tim Nelson and I both serve on the NE Waste Advisory Committee (NEWAC)--a cooperative advisory council of (7) area counties and the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) and the County's Waste Solid Waste Committee.
Information Systems Management (IT/MIS/GIS)
Danna MacKenzie, Director of Information Systems Management (ISM), walked me through the various functions and responsibilities that make up the Information Systems Management (ISM) Department. ISM works closely with all County Departments to ensure the hardware (computers, printers, scanners, telephones, copiers, etc.) and software systems (Tax Programs, CAMA, Document Imaging, etc.) are operational and meeting department needs. ISM is also responsible for developing the geographic information systems that includes web mapping, parcel inventory, E-911 location services, etc.)
Danna also gave me an overview of the current broadband projects in Cook County, including the Arrowhead Electric Broadband Project and the Northeastern Services Cooperative Project. I will be serving on the Fiber Optic Commission which typically meets monthly. I am also the liaison to the Information Systems Management Department.