County IT Director Resigns
By Beth Milligan | Nov. 2, 2019
Grand Traverse County IT Director Ming Mays has resigned her position after two years on the job, with her last day scheduled for November 7.
County Administrator Nate Alger sent an email to employees this week confirming Mays had given her two weeks' notice. "It is with regret that I inform you that our IT director, Ming Mays, is accepting another job offer and will be leaving Grand Traverse County," he wrote. "Ming has worked with us for just over two years and has been a valued asset to Grand Traverse County. I have had the privilege of working with Ming for just over a year and have placed significant reliance on her knowledge and skill as our IT director, and I will sincerely miss her being a member of our team. Please join me in wishing her the best in her new endeavor."
Mays' departure comes during a crucial time for the IT department, which is two years into a five-year technology plan to make security and software and hardware upgrades for the county. As part of the county's 2020 budgeting process currently underway, Mays had flagged IT upgrades needed to address issues related to Windows 7 being phased out. "There are serious concerns about the security of our records and information as Windows 7 upgrades, including security upgrades, will stop," Alger wrote to commissioners in an October budget memo.
While funds to address those concerns were included in the draft 2020 budget, Mays' request for two additional personnel for her department - a full-time network administrator and part-time secretary - were not. Some county department heads - notably those in law enforcement - were allowed to plead their case for more staff directly to commissioners this week, but Mays and several other department heads did not get the same opportunity.
The IT director position has proven challenging for Grand Traverse County to fill in the past. Prior to Mays' arrival in July 2017, the position was vacant for a full year following the July 2016 resignation of former IT Director Don Sheehan. Mays did not return requests for comment Friday, and Alger's email indicated he is out of the office until Monday. Deputy Administrator Chris Forsyth says county administrators are "incredibly sad to see (Mays) go - she has done amazing things with the IT department." Forsyth declined to answer questions on how the county will handle the implementation of its technology plan in Mays' absence or a timeline for hiring a new IT director, referring those questions to Alger.