Annual Report

The Information Systems Department is responsible for the computer hardware and software used by the City. The Information Systems Department assists other City Departments in evaluating, selecting and implementing computer systems. It also sets the standards for City computer systems. The Information Systems Director is appointed by the Mayor and reports directly to the Finance Director. The staff of the Information Systems Department consists of five employees. The staff is made up by the Director, one System Analyst II, two Computer Administrator II, and one part-time Computer Administrator I. The Information Systems Department has five primary areas of responsibility. These are Computer and Network, Application Software, Telephones, Website and Internet, and Geographic Information Systems.

Computer & Network Support

The Information Systems Department maintains the following hardware:

HardwareFiscal Year 2016Fiscal Year 2017Fiscal Year 2018
Windows 2008/2012/2016 Servers253030
Physical Servers131011
Virtual Servers172630
Personal Computers340403424
Tablets and Smartphones628986

We also support 52 network switches (37 logical switches) and 11 firewalls.

We also replaced 91 computers this year to keep our computer fleet current and reliable. Included in this number were new Windows based tablet computers for the City Council replacing their aging iPads.

We added a backup appliance to our data center this year to provide additional capacity and to speed up processing of our daily backups. The new appliance works in conjunction with our cloud based offsite backup to provide protection of our data in two locations.

On our virtual environment, we migrated from buying individual licenses for Windows Server to buying the Microsoft Windows Data Center. This allows us much more flexibility in our server environment and allows us to keep it current for less money.

The Information Systems Department provided support on work order requests for the following:

Work Order TypeFiscal Year 2015Fiscal Year 2016Fiscal Year 2017

Application Software Support

We expanded our use of security cameras throughout the city. This year we did a major upgrade for the Parks by adding an enterprise level server and migrated many of their cameras from older analog to digital cameras. We also added cameras to Botsford Pool. We also migrated the cameras at the Alexander Blue House in Greenmead from an old DVR system that had limited capabilities to the Avigilon system like the rest of the city. These cameras can now be accessed from authorized computers including at the Police Department. The new platform will also support additional cameras. Replaced cameras in the City Hall Auditorium with a new, high quality 360-degree camera that allows the Reserve Officers to have better visibility of that room and to listen to the meeting to improve the security for the public meetings. We also assisted the 16th District Court with replacing failed analog cameras with new digital security cameras.

Worked with the 16th District Court to replace two Polycom units that are used in the courtrooms with newer/supported equipment. We were able to move one of their older units to the Livonia Police Department to replace a twenty-year old Polycom unit that has not been supported for years, improving the ability to do remote arraignments.

We added 3 additional wireless access points at the Recreation Center this year. With these additions that facility now offers complete coverage for the public and staff. We added internet, firewalls, and Chromeboxes to two of the outdoor pools. This now allows for checking memberships and tracking usage of these facilities.

We added an additional wireless access point in the City Clerk’s Office to provide Wifi coverage. We also worked with the Clerk’s Office to provide a secure connection from the Election machines to remotely report election data to their main server. This was the first time that the Clerk asked our department to provide after hours support for the election, as a result we had staff trained by Dominion and Election Source on their processes and equipment.

This year we established a standardized signature for all City email. It contains the name of the person, position, department, phone number, email address, city seal along with links to our website and social media.

We also expanded use of digital signs by adding three additional signs at the Recreation Center and adding a virtual server appliance to control them. These signs allow the marketing and communications staff to promote the city and its activities to City visitors.

We expanded our use of our LaserFiche Document Imaging System this year. We worked with our Inspection Department to have a third-party scan and then we imported and did the optical character recognition on more than 1.5 million pages eliminating many file cabinets and preserving aging building records.

We did a replaced DPWs Best key making system, moving it from a twenty-year old computer with 3.5 inch floppies to a web-based system on our server.

Telephone Support

This year the Information Systems Department replaced the City phone system and now supports it. Previously the City ran on an older Avaya Communications Manager system under the jurisdiction of the DPW. We now run on the Avaya IP Office system. This was a massive project affecting operations in most City buildings and departments. The new system is less expensive to operate, offers a lot of redundancy and resiliency to failure, and improved reporting capabilities. As part of this process, we were forced to modernize our PRI circuits (3), moving them to the AT&T IP Flex service. We rerouted one of those circuits, so it directly feeds the Police headquarters providing disaster recovery capabilities.

After the conversion, we now have approximately 580 phone handsets and we now have 20 wireless conference rooms phones.

Website & Internet

The Information Systems Department also manages the City Website which continues to find new uses and grow in usage.

We updated the City website with the following items:

  • We added Library staff to our website community calendar and trained them, so they can add their events.
  • Added a new web page to support the Vietnam Moving Wall event for 2019
  • We provided website support for the City Master Plan efforts to promote the community events and to make the proposed plan available for public review.
  • We worked with the City Departments and Commissions to provide pictures and descriptions of their meetings for the website to assist the public to understand the meeting better.
  • Improved our websites accessibility by making modifications and providing training to our website editors. We do subscribe to a service that assists us with evaluating our efforts to become more accessible.
  • We posted a webcam live video observing a bird’s nest and the hatching of the eggs at the Children’s area of the Robert and Janet Bennett Civic Center Library.
  • Added to our SharePoint site a new Lease Calendar to assist Finance with tracking our different lease expirations

Other web activities:

  • Our City Facebook page grew from 6,707 likes to 9,272. We also started archiving our Social Media pages this year.

Website statistics include:

  • Number of pages reviewed:
    • Fiscal Year 2016: 2,136,751
    • Fiscal Year 2017: 1,827,075
    • Fiscal Year 2018: 1,778,185

Computer & Mobile Usage

Mode of UsageFiscal Year 2016Fiscal Year 2017Fiscal Year 2018
Desktop Computer Access48.50%44.33%44.11%
Mobile Access51.50%55.67%55.82%
Smartphone Access43.25%47.69%49.18%
Tablet Access8.25%7.98%6.71%

This department also provides email and internet access to all city employees as follows:

  • Number of Email accounts:
    • Fiscal Year 2016:  295
    • Fiscal Year 2017: 296
    • Fiscal Year 2018: 306

Geographic Information Systems

The Information Systems Department also manages, operates and maintains a Geographic Information System (GIS) to help manage its maps, apps and spatially referenced data.

Online Map Services

We have maintained and updated the all the maps and apps for General City Map, Park Finder, Transit System Pickup Locations, Trash Pickup Day, Zoning Map and Voter Polling Place Map. These maps are compatible with mobile devices (smartphone and tablets). We also updated the Leaf Pickup 2018 Map application to inform and help the residents during the leaf pickup program. The map allowed DPW to mark quarter section segments as not completed, pending cycle 1, completed cycle 1, pending cycle 2 and completed cycle 2. The previous map was viewed 3,013 times during the leaf pickup season 2017. For the winter season, The Snow Emergency App is ready for use by our residents and DPW. The Snow Emergency App will allow DPW to mark quarter section segments as Not Completed/No Parking in Roadway or Completed/Parking Restrictions Lifted. Also, we have created a completely new app for internal use, Livonia Damage Survey GeoForm App, which will help Livonia Police Department to capture the damage estimated and to report to State and FEMA. We also have a completely new Story Map app for Parks and Recreation Department. A Story Map app is authoritative map with narrative text, images, and/or multimedia content. The Story makes it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story.

Database Maintenance

We have continued our weekly maintenance schedule with the GIS during 2018. Our GIS database is under SDE configuration control. Editing of our various data layers is done by GIS users within the City. The established procedure calls for all editing to be done to a "personal" version of the GIS database. These edits are then pushed up to a draft version of the database where they are inspected and verified. Once the draft version has been verified edits are then pushed up to the default version of the database for general use. This procedure has worked very well and insures that the GIS is continuously updated in a systematic fashion.

Since 2017, the Cityworks maps are updated on a weekly basis. This will help DPW and the field workers to have the latest information available on their mobile devices.

Mapping Support

During 2018 the GIS has continued to supported mapping activities for numerous City departments, including the Assessing department (generated 144 tax assessing maps. 144 Land Value Maps for 2018 and start working on 144 Land Value Maps for 2019), measured the parcel "frontage" for all commercial parcels in the City, generated numerous maps for the Housing Department depicting City-owned homes along with Silver Village, Mac Towers, and Newburgh Village, Parks and Recreation, Police and Fire Department. In addition, we continually maintain our set of quarter section tax maps (144), address maps (144), zoning maps (144), land use maps (144) and various City maps (city street maps, subdivisions, voter precincts, etc.). We also helped Livonia Fire Department with GIS projects they have together with International Association of Fire Fighters.

User Support

In the spring of 2018 we upgraded our GIS system to the most recent version - ArcGIS 10.6 (Basic, Standard and Advance) licenses. This includes the desktop and server’s licenses. Also, this year we have upgraded our ArcGIS Server license from ArcGIS Server Basic to ArcGIS Server Standard. This upgrade has increased our capabilities for our web-based maps and mobile applications for our GIS system.

We continue to use our FME software. FME is a platform makes simple the connections of hundreds of systems, transform data in unlimited ways, and automate workflows.

Last year we applied and were accepted to participate in the United States Census program known as the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA). This is an optional program offered by the United States Census Bureau to allow local communities to verify the residential addressing that will be used by the United States Census for 2020. This year, for a period of six months we compared the address information provided by the United States Census with our GIS addressing information and identifying any errors or missing data in the Census data. We did submit these requested changes to the United States Census Bureau and they are now reviewing the changes.