Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 22, 2010 Issue
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Computers go down, but county doesn't

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — This time, it wasn’t a virus that felled Sullivan County government’s computer system.
County officials indicated a communications glitch led to the failure of the county’s primary computer server on Monday, and when the backup server failed as well, workers in all but the County Clerk’s Office, E-911 Center and Social Services complex were unable to access their computers, printers, fax machines and email.
By Tuesday night, the servers were back up and running, with no data lost or compromised.
And even in the 21st century, government employees were able to get many a job done, according to County Manager David Fanslau.
“You function differently,” he acknowledged. “But there really wasn’t a total breakdown in communications.”
Fanslau and several others were able to access their e-mails through cellphones, while many other county workers simply cleaned their offices, caught up on phone calls, or filled out forms and correspondence the old-fashioned way – by hand.
The cost?
“Other than staff time, no unplanned technical expense,” said Management Information Systems (MIS) Chief Lorne Green.
Green’s crew, said Fanslau, worked around the clock to get the system back online, and he lamented that MIS goes unnoticed when things go well.
“Unfortunately, MIS gets highlighted when the system doesn’t work, as opposed to when it works,” Fanslau said, noting that MIS is often heavily engaged in screening spam and handling the heavy amount of cybertraffic the county encounters every day. “I’m very pleased with how Lorne and his staff manage the department.”

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