City hires internal candidate for information technology director; one commissioner fights back decision against | WDHN

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The city approved 4-1 to make Jessica Kerns the new information technology director for the city of Dothan.

Although it was approved, it didn’t go over smoothly for District 3 commissioner Bradley Bedwell as he claimed the city promoted within and didn’t open the search to outside candidates.

“My vote didn’t have anything to do with the qualifications of the internal applicant the current software isn’t working and we didn’t do our diligence and we did not add any external applicants to the pool, so I can look at the taxpayers if this doesn’t work out and say hey I did my part,” Bedwell said.

This comes after the former director left the city in March after software issues. Kerns was working as the assistant director at the time.

In 2021, the city spent about 16 million dollars on computer software called Oracle. It’s an HR operating system that allows the city to combine multiple moving parts like finance, planning, and other forms of business but the software has not been working properly since.

Bedwell said it would probably take another five million to possibly get the software working.

“Software is hard to integrate and if you don’t have someone to integrate it it may never work and it could be a total loss,” He said.

Mayor Lintasa said the hiring process was left up to the city manager.

“They felt like he was the best candidate he had been with us for a few years. I had no problem with it and he understood what was going on and how to get us moving forward,” He said.

Kerns contract could reach up to $180,000 a year and went into effect on May 19.